The proposed technology enables acquisition of real-time, in-flight strain and/or temperature data related to structural dynamics analysis and health monitoring of airframes and spaceframes. In addition, the technology enables feedback control signal generation, distributed NDE / modal analysis, and distributed thermal profiling. The technology can be applied to components, structures, aerodynamic surfaces, fixed and morphable flight control surfaces, and electrical propulsion system power sources. The proposed technology has particular applicability to laboratory and in-flight testing of airframes and spaceframes. Distributed strain measurements can be used to infer distributed loading throughout a structure, and can additionally be used to infer shape of a structure. Most notably, the technology opens up possibilities for distributed modal analysis, distributed resonance mapping, and other sensing modalities. The dramatically-improved sample rate not only leads to a system impervious to vibration effects, but that can fully characterize those vibration effects. As such, the technology is particularly applicable to incredibly harsh shock/vibe environments such as the launch vehicle environment.
Non-NASA commercial applications of the technology include renewable wind energy, commercial aerospace & aviation, oil & gas, automotive, nuclear energy, and perimeter security. In wind energy, the technology could inform real-time turbine control decisions for enhanced power generation efficiency. In addition, the subject technology could be used to measure deterioration of blades over their operational lifetime and detect adverse conditions or damage events, informing condition-based maintenance schedules. Commercial aerospace companies would find use for the proposed technology in applications similar to those of NASA. In particular, real-time distributed thermal monitoring of critical propulsion and fuel-storage system components appears to be an excellent application for the technology. The technology would benefit commercial aviation applications by informing condition-based maintenance schedules to reduce operational cost and improve passenger safety. In automotive applications, the proposed technology could be used for real-time structural monitoring during road testing and/or crash testing. It could also be applied to thermal monitoring of electric vehicle battery banks.