Non-NASA applications for composite instrumentation are extensive and diverse. Direct Write sensors have generated significant interest for military use within manned air vehicles, UAVs, rotorcraft, and armored transport vehicles. Applications include damage detection, vibration monitoring, gas turbine engine component monitoring, flight control, SIGINT, and communications. Next generation aircraft such as the Boeing 787 use composite materials for a number of critical structures. Monitoring of these structures is of considerable interest to the manufacturers and operators of these aircraft, particularly as neither have experience fielding such extensively composite-based systems over the timescales on which these aircraft are expected to be in service. Other applications include fuel cells for automotive applications, high speed rail, long term monitoring of infrastructure (bridges, tunnels), and certainly health management of existing commercial aerospace structures.
The proposed Direct Write sensors are applicable for both low temperature and high temperature (beyond 1500K) applications. NASA has a need for integrated vehicle health management capabilities for a number of space structures and systems. The technology development enables applications involving high temperature composite structures, instrumentation of inflatable space structures, cryogenic pressure vessels, and high temperature thermal protection systems. MesoScribe¡¦s focus is the diagnostic sensing component of health management, providing innovative, deployable solutions for monitoring temperature, heat flux, deformation and structural integrity, wear, damage, and even aerodynamic properties. Applications for thermal and flow monitoring using these embedded sensors include measuring component temperature; insulation and heat shield integrity; blowby detection; and heat flux measurement. Applications for mechanical sensors include health monitoring, strain monitoring for pressurized tanks; launch load measurement; payload shock detection and measurement; and measuring deformation of shape-sensitive space structures e.g., telescopes, antennas.