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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Wideband Single Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Wideband Single Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization Project Image

TRS proposes to develop a simple-to-use, launch capable, ultrasound transducer that is capable of producing the necessary bandwidth to accurately determine in vivo bone characteristics that correlate to loss of strength in astronauts in long-duration space flights (microgravity). The transducer will be capable of measuring backscatter, attenuation, reflectivity and other ultrasound parameters of bone in the spine or hip that have been correlated with physiological bone density, structure and porosity through systems that provide high fidelity but are not space-capable. The Phase I program showed that a compact ultrasound transducer with more than 4 octave bandwidth could be produced using the special properties of single crystal piezoelectrics and special processing techniques, a bandwidth 175% larger than that of conventional transducers. The Phase II program will extend the capabilities of the Phase I transducer by providing more sensitivity, and optimizing the frequency content relative to the acoustic field. Additionally, TRS will team with Stony Brook University to further analyze the relationship between the bone structure and ultrasound parameters towards eventual use in space. TRS will deliver a robust, wideband transducer that can be integrated with NASA components at the end of the program.

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