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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Embedded Structural Integrity Sensor, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Embedded Structural Integrity Sensor, Phase I
In this work Luna Innovations in partnership with Pennsylvania State University proposes to develop a new thermo-ultrasonic technology for the real-time in-situ monitoring of critical metallic, composite and bonded structural health parameters during space exploration missions. The potential applications of the proposed technique include characterization of component response to loading, monitoring load distribution, and identifying stresses exceeding design in a variety of structural materials and geometries. Another important usage area is assessment of the effects of structural defects on the system's performance, early detection of damage, and prediction of the remaining service life of critical components. The technology will utilize sparse networks of built-in or surface-mounted miniature lightweight ultrasonic sensors with low power consumption levels suitable for space deployment. A combination of specially designed sensor excitation mechanism and accurate velocimetry yields very high sensitivity to critical structural performance parameters. In Phase I we will demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach on laboratory specimens subjected to load, and verify the results against mathematical models and FEM simulation. In Phase II we will develop a full-featured prototype unit and demonstrate all the benefits of the new technology on a representative flight component. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.