On-Orbit Health Monitoring and Repair Assessment of Thermal Protection Systems

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNL06AA14C
Agency Tracking Number:
040041
Solicitation Year:
2004
Solicitation Topic Code:
X4.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Extreme Diagnostics, Inc.
2525 Arapahoe Avenue / Bldg. E4 #262, Boulder, CO, 80302-6746
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
112811364
Principal Investigator:
Robert Owen
Principal Investigator
(303) 530-1248
rowen@extremediagnostics.com
Business Contact:
Robert Owen
President
(303) 530-1248
rowen@extremediagnostics.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
This SBIR project delivers On-orbit health MoNItoring and repair assessment of THERMal protection systems (OMNI_THERM). OMNI_THERM features impedance-based structural health monitoring (SHM) and uses miniaturized autonomous sensor/actuators to diagnose damage and verify repair efficacy. Implications of the innovation Thermal protection systems (TPS) are crucial for crew safety. New techniques of on-orbit assessment of TPS are needed to accelerate Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) development. An autonomous impedance-based SHM system is one of the few viable solutions; Phase I established that this technique can be configured for on-orbit TPS health monitoring. Technical objectives We will configure OMNI_THERM for on-orbit SHM through iterative hardware refinements combined with environmental testing and demonstrations at CEV contractors. OMNI_THERM deploys autonomous, wireless, self-powered sensor/actuators. Each sensor/actuator is a self-contained SHM system; this computationally distributed framework minimizes single points-of-failure. Research description Phase I produced an advanced prototype and demonstrated SHM on TPS. Phase II includes miniaturization and expands to higher temperature ranges, hybrid structures, and advanced composites. Anticipated results Phase II delivers an OMNI_THERM system configured for on-orbit SHM and repair assessment of TPS and other crucial structures. System development includes ruggedization, scaling to multiple sensors, self-diagnostics, high temperature (>500oF) and system validation, and autonomous operation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government