SBIR Phase II: Shear Stress Sensor Based on Optical Micro-Spring Technology

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0956631
Agency Tracking Number: 0839528
Amount: $494,861.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
7 Tenney Road, West Orange, NJ, 07052
DUNS: 139119759
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vadim Stepaniuk
 (973) 623-0755
 vadim@lenterra.com
Business Contact
 Vadim Stepaniuk
Phone: (973) 623-0755
Email: vadim@lenterra.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is aimed at the development of a wall shear stress sensor based on micro-optical resonators. The core element of the sensor, the micro-optical stress gauge (MOSG), consists of a micro-optical spherical resonator and optical fibers through which tunable laser light is coupled into and out of the sphere. By monitoring shifts of the resonator spectrum, that are a function of the deformation of the sphere, forces can be measured over more than four orders of magnitude with minute deformation of the resonator (< 1 nm). This capability allows a MOSG to be incorporated within a shear stress sensor in which the motion of a floating element in contact with the fluid is minimal. In Phase I, a breadboard version of the sensor was fabricated and successfully tested in a model flow between two parallel plates, where measurements were in close agreement with computational predictions. Phase II research will focus on advancing the technology by improving measurement rate, sensitivity, and dynamic range, along with decreasing vibration susceptibility, and improving robustness. Sensor prototypes will be tested on high shear industrial mixers with the aim of commercialization for the process mixing market. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will include the advancement of the understanding of the fundamental processes occurring in boundary layers of flows. For non-Newtonian or otherwise rheologically complex fluids, wall shear stress cannot be reliably calculated or, especially for non-transparent flows, measured. The proposed sensor fills a need for shear stress measurement in the fields of fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and medical research. The largest impact is expected to be in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries that are suffering from an inability to scale and predict processing equipment performance. Knowledge of wall shear stress will provide means to improve process control, quality and throughput of products including drugs and other pharmaceutical products, foods, paints, inks and dyes, cosmetics, and many others.

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

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