Structural Health and Usage monitoring system for Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) structures

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
155C-3 Moffett Park Drive, Sunnyvale, CA, 94089
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Shawn Beard
Director of Systems Integ
(408) 745-1188
Business Contact:
Irene Li
(408) 745-1188
Research Institution:
The objective of this proposed project is to develop innovative structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies for application to composite structures for unmanned air vehicle (UAV) platforms. Composites can incur invisible damage from impacts, loadingabrasion, operator abuse, or neglect that if unchecked may lead to lower structural reliability, higher life-cycle costs, and loss in operational capability. This situation can be rectified by the use of a built-in inspection system that can monitor UAVstructures in real-time thereby providing for inspection and damage detection with minimal labor involvement. Acellent proposes the development of a SHM system to monitor UAV structures based on Acellent's SMART Layer Technology that utilizes a built-innetwork of piezoelectric transducers embedded on a thin dielectric carrier film that queries, monitors and evaluates the condition of a structure. Phase I will focus on developing a business case for application of the technology to UAVs such asSensorcraft and UCAV along with demonstrating feasibility. The proposed development will provide the means to significantly reduce maintenance/inspection costs, and enhance the reliability/efficiency/readiness of composite structures. Boeing stronglysupports the proposed development and has agreed to assist with the business case development and application of Acellent's SHM technology to their platform designs. Safety, reliability, and life-cycle cost are of great concern to the aircraftmanufacturing and maintenance industries. Current maintenance and inspection techniques for in-service composite structures are labor-intensive and time-consuming. The proposed SHM technology development provides an innovative alternative that cansignificantly reduce inspection costs, enhance the reliability of the composite structures and improve their efficiency and readiness. The technology can be employed to constantly monitor critical areas on in-service structures, equipment and vehicles.Integration with the platform integrated vehicle health management (IVHM ) systems will permit maintenance of a real-time operational database of structural information that can provide early warning of degradation, damage and the potential of catastrophicfailure while minimizing the need for most NDE procedures. Potentially, the commercial market for the developed technology is large, including industries such as aircraft, spacecraft, automobiles and civil infrastructures. Acellent Technologies has beenactively pursuing commercial applications of the technology through cooperative projects with commercial aircraft and spacecraft manufacturers such as Boeing and automobile manufacturers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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