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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Distributed Embedded Fiber Optic Sensor (EFISense) SHM System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In Phase I, Redondo Optics Inc. proposes to develop, demonstrate, and deliver to NASA a unique fully integrated, miniature, lightweight, self-powered, wireless communication embedded optical fiber sensor (EFISense) SHM system suitable for the time-synchronized distributed monitoring of passive and dynamic loads/stress/strains within the strands, rope, and fabric of large and entire cross-sections of NASA's trailing body deployable decelerator systems such as parachutes and ballutes to provide immediate information to the crew of any detected fault or structural damage within the decelerator representing a valuable safety early warning protection for the crew and space vehicles. The EFISense system is based on the strategic integration of key technologies including the use of distributed array of embedded fiber Bragg gratings sensor weaved within the strands, yarn, and/or fabric of parachutes or ballutes decelerators, and the use of ROI's proprietary WDM/TDM photonic integrated circuit (PIC) microchip technology that enables the production of a lightweight, compact, and self-power (battery) operation of a multiplex EFISense transceiver sensor interrogation system. In Phase II, the EFISense SHM system will be engineered into a stand-alone autonomous system and integrated into an airborne ready decelerator prototype system and tested under load environments representative of decelerator decent missions. When developed, the miniature self-power EFISense SHM system will provide a new and innovative global coverage SHM solution for NASA's trailing body decelerator technologies as well as other spacecraft systems where size, weight, and power are critical for operation. More »

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