Quantitative Propellant Diagnostics with Ultrasonic Guided Waves

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2031
Agency Tracking Number: F083-115-2009
Amount: $99,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-115
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle, Suite 400, Roanoke, VA, 24016
DUNS: 627132913
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Pedrick
 Principal Investigator
 (757) 224-5723
 submissions340@lunainnovations.com
Business Contact
 Angela Keen
Title: Senior Contracts Administ
Phone: (540) 552-5128
Email: submissions340@lunainnovations.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Given their polymeric and viscoelastic nature, solid propellants are subject to various aging effects that may lead to failure of the asset.  Many of these aging effects relate back to degradation or variation in material properties/behavior over time.  Luna proposes to address this issue with an ultrasonic guided wave approach capable of extracting engineering properties from portions of the propellant requiring only access to the outer surface of the case.  In Phase I, Luna plans to address several key factors for determining feasibility of the proposed approach.  Luna will measure bulk ultrasonic properties in propellant simulants provided by Aerojet at various stages of aging.  Mechanical test specimens will be prepared to validate links between ultrasonic measurement and engineering properties.  An initial two-layer mockup will be prepared to show connection between ultrasonic guided wave measurement and bulk ultrasonic properties.  Connections between viscoelastic properties and aging effects within solid rocket propellants will also be explored.  Successful outcomes from these four Phase I focus areas will help address high technical risks early in the program .  These results are also fundamental in shaping the roadmap and framework for a continuing program to transition from measurement to practical instrument. BENEFITS: By partnering with Aerojet, Luna will be able to mature this collaboration into a potential business relationship with a prime contractor in this field.  Luna aims to couple these developments with other solid rocket motor diagnostic efforts for a broader suite of measurement capability tied to mission critical assets providing a significant cost reduction to both military and aerospace entities by eliminating access maintenance and limit premature removal from service.  Luna can leverage the developments under this program to further enhance the capability of its pre-existing Nondestructive Checkout Center (NCC) (an NDI and material characterization system developd for the DOD under a separate program) by providing that proof-of-concept system with a capability to assess more complex geometries and materials.  This enhancement can greatly enhance the marketability of that system while that system provides a tangible manifestation of the proposed measurement approach.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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