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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Photonic Sensor for Nondestructive Testing of Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Photonic Sensor for Nondestructive Testing of Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels, Phase I
Los Gatos Research proposes to develop a photonic sensor instrumentation, capable of monitoring distributed load and acoustic emission (AE) for rapid inspection of damages in composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV). Our novel sensor technology offers a number of advantages including sensor compactness and lightweight with multiplexing capability for load and AE for monitoring and characterizing damages in advanced composite structures and components. We achieve this by employing Bragg grating sensor arrays and using a novel interrogation technique combined with state-of-the-art AE method to detect and pinpoint composite defects in these structures. In Phase I, we will demonstrate the sensor's capability to measure loads and acoustic emission in a composite structure in comparison with conventional piezoelectric type AE sensors. In addition, we will develop a damage grading methodology to predict the presence, location, severity of damages in the COPV. In Phase II, the grating sensors, interrogation system, and diagnostic software will be integrated into an automated system, capable of measuring and correlating the load history, acoustic emission activity, and determining the severity of damages and their location in the COPV. More »

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