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SBIR/STTR

Integrated Photonic Engine for Miniaturized Fiber Optics Sensor Interrogators, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Structural health monitoring is critical capability for NASA, and it is required for launch vehicles, space vehicles, re-entry vehicles, vehicle pressure systems, Space Station, as well as in flight research. Health monitoring systems need to have fast and robust data acquisition and management, low volume, minimal intrusion, and high accuracy and reliability. Armstrong Flight Research Center has developed a revolutionary 4-fiber interrogation system for Fiber Optic Smart Structures (FOSS) sensor networks interrogation. This system meets the required specifications on the sensing side, however, its size, weight, power consumption, fragility and cost make it prohibitive for the massive deployment into air vehicles. In this program, we are proposing to develop and integrate all optical functions needed to enable next generation of miniaturized, low-cost NASA's FOSS interrogator systems. Through innovative photonic integration of key functions, and hybrid packaging using interposer technology, we anticipate that the size of the existing system will be reduced by two and cost by one order of magnitude. This, in turn, will fulfill one of the key requirements of the solicitation, yielding a miniaturized fiber optic measurement system with low power suitable for migration into platforms spanning from launch vehicles, reentry vehicles, to UAS platforms or aviation. More »

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