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SBIR Phase I: High-Resolution Shop Floor Video-Rate Surface Metrology System

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1448214
Agency Tracking Number: 1448214
Amount: $149,902.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-06-30
Small Business Information
3280 E Hemisphere Loop, Ste 146
Tucson, AZ 85706
United States
DUNS: 111037482
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Erik Novak
 (520) 294-5600
Business Contact
 Brad Kimbrough
Phone: (520) 294-5600
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will perform the critical research that ultimately leads to a robust, hand-held, video-rate surface metrology system to bridge a critical existing metrology gap for precision-machined surfaces. The broader impact of this project will be to improve yield, performance, safety, and lifetime of components in a wide range of critical U.S. industries including automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. For example, minor surface imperfections on edges or in other critical areas can have a dramatic effect on performance of components such as turbine blades, cutting tools, or other high-stress elements. In the turbine industry, during maintenance inspections, wear scars or corrosion pits that can lead to catastrophic failures must be quantified to ensure only necessary repairs and replacements are performed; current inspection technologies lead to high rejection rates of good parts since lack of good quantification necessitates conservatism in part rejection. This high-precision, portable, shop-floor gage will greatly enhance quantification of such features, leading to enhanced competitiveness across multiple critical U.S. manufacturing industries that employ a wide range of processing technologies. The total available market for such an instrument is estimated to be greater than $45 million annually in the initially identified application spaces. The intellectual merit of this project is the demonstration of a novel instantaneous whole-field optical method for measuring rough surfaces with micron resolution and centimeter field of view. Instantaneous whole-field acquisition enables high-resolution measurements to be made in environments not possible with current technology. Benefits of this technology range from increased manufacturing capability in aerospace (for example, production of turbine blades with improved efficiency), to fields such as medical imaging where motion and vibration are intrinsic. The research objectives for this program are to develop and/or demonstrate feasibility of several key components: an efficient method of generating polarization-based fringe patterns to enable instantaneous measurement, a state-of-the-art light source, compact optics capable of high-efficiency illumination and large-area imaging, and robust data processing techniques. Extensive modeling and experimentation will be combined to ensure success of each of the technical objectives. Once key components are developed, a breadboard system will be built and comprehensively tested against a variety of critical metrology goals. At the end of this Phase I effort, the anticipated outcome will be a working breadboard capable of vibration-immune, three-dimensional surface metrology with micron-level lateral and vertical resolution, applicable to a wide range of precision machined surfaces.

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

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