Skip Navigation
Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

On-Orbit Health Monitoring and Repair Assessment of Thermal Protection Systems, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

On-Orbit Health Monitoring and Repair Assessment of Thermal Protection Systems, Phase I
This SBIR project delivers On-orbit health MoNItoring and repair assessment of THERMal protection systems (OMNI_THERM). OMNI_THERM features impedance-based structural health monitoring (SHM) and uses miniaturized autonomous sensor/actuators to diagnose damage and verify repair efficacy. Implications of the innovation Thermal protection systems are crucial for crew safety. New techniques of on-orbit monitoring and assessment of thermal protection structures are needed for space exploration. An autonomous impedance-based SHM system is one of the few viable solutions; however, this technique has not been applied to thermal protection systems. Technical objectives OMNI_THERM deploys autonomous, wireless, self-powered sensor/actuators that harvest energy from vibration and thermal gradients. Each sensor/actuator is a complete SHM system and reports independently; this computationally distributed framework minimizes single points-of-failure. We have built a prototype, performed SHM on launch support structures, and demonstrated repair assessment. Research description Phase I demonstrates OMNI_THERM SHM on reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) and other model structures. Phase II includes miniaturization and expands OMNI_THERM capabilities to additional thermal materials, hybrid structures, and advanced composites. Anticipated results Phase I establishes feasibility by detecting cracks, gouges, and stress-induced defects in RCC and other model structures and verifying repairs. Phase II delivers an OMNI_THERM system tailored to on-orbit SHM and repair assessment. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Project Library

Share this Project

Organizational Responsibility

Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Areas

Light bulb

Suggest an Edit

Recommend changes and additions to this project record.

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.