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SBIR/STTR

Integrated Structural Health Sensors for Inflatable Space Habitats, Phase II

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Luna proposes to continue development of integrated high-definition fiber optic sensors (HD-FOS) and carbon nanotube (CNT)-graphene piezoresistive sensors for inflatable space habitat materials to enable full coverage structural health monitoring (SHM) and impact detection. Inflatable habitats are key to reducing the weight of space structures, enabling future long term missions and planetary habitation. There is a need for monitoring the structural health of these habitats, as many of the methods used on earth are not applicable to the space environment or the materials used. To accomplish this goal, Luna has teamed with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) who is a leader in the development of CNT sensor technology. Luna is teaming with an established manufacturer to fabricate a sub-scale inflatable structure with integrated SHM sensors which will enable thorough characterization of the approach. During Phase I, the team successfully demonstrated damage detection in an inflatable prototype as well as dynamic impact detection of soft goods layers with the technologies. Phase II will focus on increasing the TRL of the sensing technologies and preparing for transition into future NASA missions. Phase III will focus on commercializing the technology with NASA and NASA affiliates. More »

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