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Integrated Self sufficientStructurally Integrated Multifunctional Sensors for Autonomous Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DESC0020714
Agency Tracking Number: 0000251154
Amount: $199,999.20
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 12d
Solicitation Number: DEFOA0002146
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-28
Small Business Information
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
United States
DUNS: 043688410
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Amrita Kumar
 (408) 307-4189
Business Contact
 Amrita Kumar
Phone: (408) 307-4189
Research Institution

Acellent Technologies proposes to develop an integrated AUTO-SMART sensor system for vehicles that can provide multifunctional capabilities and make the vehicles self-sufficient. The primary focus will be on composite materials and how multi-functionalities in composites can impact the design of automotive in weight saving and efficiencies. The goal will be to provide “weight saving” through integration of materials with sensors, electronics, batteries, etc. to minimize parts counts, create new designs, new manufacturing processes and enable cost saving. The focus will be on (1) Autonomic Vehicle Systems to design a sensor network that can adjust itself in response to its environment, (2) Adaptive Systems to provide information on the health of the vehicle structure and adapt the structural configuration based on any damage events and (3) Self-sustaining Systems with batteries integrated within the structure to store and release power as needed. The program will be conducted by Acellent with collaborator Stanford University. An innovative sensor suite will be designed, developed and integrated with structural composites during the manufacturing process itself to create a structurally integrated sensor network. A structurally integrated battery developed by Stanford University and licensed exclusively by Acellent will be leveraged for use in power delivery and management. The Multifunctional Energy Storage Composite Battery (MESC) has been demonstrated huge weight saving and design efficiency over conventional vehicle design with composites, therefore, more efficient functionalities could be further built into the vehicle, particularly on the sensing areas. Primary focus will be on the following (1) battery monitoring to further minimize weight of extra redundant batteries, (2) battery monitoring to further improve performance, (3) structural health monitoring for minimizing service and preventing failure and repair which extremely critical for driverless car applications, (4) pedestrian protection and collision detection and monitoring that is critically important. Acellent as the lead will be responsible for the overall program architecture, integration, direction, management and technology transition. Phase I will focus on the design and development of the AUTO- SMART system using an integrated sensor network design for a multifunctional vehicle that can be incorporated during manufacturing itself. Primary areas of development include (1) design of a Multifunctional Energy Storage Composite Battery (MESC) for use in automobiles, (2) SMART Airbag and Crash sensing, (3) Vehicle collision detection, (4) design, customization, and integration of a SMART Controller for the AUTO-SMART sensing system. Demonstration of at least 2 multifunctional capabilities for the vehicle on chosen structures will be conducted. The sensor network that will be developed through this program will provide immense benefits to the composite vehicle industry including; (1) Conceptual leap in creation of self-sufficient autonomous vehicles, (2) Increased safety through real-time detection of internal composite damage, (3) Rapid crash sensing leading to rollover protection and (4) New advanced sensing that can save billions of dollars in life-cycle costs by reducing vehicle inspection and maintenance. Potential applications include electric and autonomous vehicles, unmanned aircraft, submarines etc.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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