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SBIR Phase I: Versatile In-Situ Engine Lubricant Health Sensor

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1047396
Agency Tracking Number: 1047396
Amount: $149,949.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-12-31
Small Business Information
800 North 350 West #250
Salt Lake City, UT 84103-1441
United States
DUNS: 829431076
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Feng Zhao
 (801) 953-1049
Business Contact
 Feng Zhao
Title: PhD
Phone: (801) 953-1049
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop an innovative, cost-effective, oil quality sensor that can detect when and how engine oil becomes degraded, as an integral part of a smart engine health monitoring system. Current sensors typically work only with a specific type of oil or a specific type of degradation mechanism (e.g. metal fragments or water contamination) or indirectly infer oil condition from information such as engine run time. Presently no single, on-board, cost-effective sensor that will identify oil degradation from different sources is available. The new sensor will allow on-line monitoring to detect various modes of oil degradation by incorporating a suite of sensing capabilities on a single sensor. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are developments to on-board sensors that can continuously monitor engine health and alert the operator/driver when service is required. A smart engine will determine its optimal service interval and with information provided by the advanced oil quality sensor can avoid added cost of too frequent oil changes or increased engine wear from too infrequent oil changes. A reliable, cost-effective on-board oil condition sensor will be beneficial to the engine original equipment manufacturers as they can gain a competitive edge by reducing lifetime cost to their customers, and benefit the end users as their operation and maintenance costs are reduced.

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

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