SBIR Phase I: Structural Health Monitoring using Embedded Frequency Steered Acoustic Transducers

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1214896
Agency Tracking Number: 1214896
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: EI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1718 Peachtree Street, Suite 390, Atlanta, GA, 30309-2452
DUNS: 796514763
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Kranz
 (404) 382-9646
Business Contact
 Michael Kranz
Phone: (404) 382-9646
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project investigates high-temperature wirelessly interrogated acoustic sensors for monitoring insulated structures such as piping and storage vessels that are in difficult to access locations and operate at elevated temperatures. Current 2-D acoustic imaging systems are wiring and data processing intensive, as well as difficult to embed in a permanently installed structural health monitoring system. The proposed innovation addresses this challenge through taking advantage of the advanced capabilities of the frequency-steered acoustic transducer (FSAT). The unique FSAT architecture allows 2-D imaging with a simple interface that can be controlled by a low-power wireless system. This proposed effort will simulate, design, and, demonstrate MEMS-based fabrication processes and material sets that allow FSAT operation in elevated temperature applications. The effort will also demonstrate low-power wireless embeddable interface electronics for simple integration of multiple FSAT devices into a distributed structural health monitoring system. If successful, this research will enable new in situ health monitoring capabilities at high-temperature. This technology is highly scalable and will provide these benefits at low capital cost and low ongoing cost. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in the cost savings and energy savings that can be gained through increased structural health monitoring of critical components and processes in manufacturing facilities. Because the target market is high temperature industrial process control and structural monitoring, these sensors would permit savings in terms of production time, and reduced plant downtime, as well as the energy required to maintain the process temperature. Within certain situations, this sensor technology would enable wireless point measurements of structural health that are currently not feasible or affordable. Relevant and affordable monitoring solutions for low- to medium-cost industrial equipment will be beneficial to rural facilities and small-scale manufacturers who tend to use older technology, maintain small capital budgets, and operate under tight cash-flow restrictions. Broader impacts of this technology to science and education include a novel advance in existing structural health monitoring technology and funding for continued research and education in wireless sensors, acoustic imaging, and damage detection using acoustic methods.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government