Wireless, Low Mass, High Sensitivity Sensing Sheet for Structural Sensing and Long Term Analysis
Small Business Information
MA, Watertown, MA, 02472-4699
AbstractNASA needs sensor systems to inspect space structures with minimum human interaction. These systems must be highly integrated and self-sufficient, low mass, simple to operate, provide reliable information, and use little command processing power.Eddy current testing (ECT) is a widely practiced and critically important nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method used in aerospace, yet it relies on decades-old wire-coil sensors and scanning. RMD, in collaboration with Wyle Laboratories, proposes a revolutionary structural imaging and NDE technology based on a permanently affixed, flexible sheet containing a two-dimensional array of microscopic, directionally sensitive, solid-state eddy current sensors.The modular sensing sheet could be added to the spacecraft while in space or before launch. The sensing sheet will be thin (approximately 100 um thick) and highly flexible so that it can be mounted on curved surfaces. Energy independent, wireless arrays could be affixed underneath thermal insulation, paint or other coatings, and images created by a CPU integrated on the sensor array. These images permit structural assessment and NDE of many components throughout the lifetime of a mission. The system will be largely independent of the command computer and power systems, have little external wiring, and require almost no human attention.
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