Retroreflector Array for Test Environments (RATE)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Research Support Instruments Inc
4325-B Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD, 20706-4854
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractResearch Support Instruments, Inc. (RSI) proposes to develop the Retroreflector Array for Test Environments (RATE), an innovative technology that will non-intrusively measure pressure on aerodynamic surfaces in NASA ground test facilities with high sensitivity and bandwidth. The signal from RATE units will change locally due to pressure changes. Pressure sensitive paints, in comparison, have serious drawbacks: they must applied to a rigid surface, are specific to the flow species, and do not retroreflect. Because RATE will be independent of the flow species, and applied as a very thin, flexible, adhesive material, it will be able to measure the aerodynamic pressure while minimizing changes in the flow field. The Phase I RATE program will involve design, fabrication, and test of various candidate designs in order to select the most promising approach for Phase II. RSI will use its experience in microfabricated structures and pressure sensors to employ a highly innovative technology in order to non-intrusively measure aerodynamic pressure in NASA ground test facilities. The result will be a product that will address a critical NASA instrumentation need.
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