NASA Tech Needs

Rocket Engine Altitude Simulation Technologies

John C. Stennis Space Center is embarking on a very ambitious era in its rocket engine propulsion test history. The first new large rocket engine test stand to be built at Stennis Space Center in over 40 years is under construction. The new A3 Test Stand is designed to test very large (294,000 lbf thrust) cryogenic propellant rocket engines at a simulated altitude of 100,000 feet.

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Anchoring Technology to Hold an Active Ingredient Within a Targeted Depth of Soil

A company seeks technologies that enhance the duration that herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and similar products are held at a targeted depth within the top layers of soil. Duration should be between 30 and 60 days. The targeted depth varies with the crop plant, soil type, and pesticide, but is usually between the surface and 3-4" deep. The technology should not be persistent and should not affect the following crop. It must degrade chemically or biologically in the soil. Respond to this TechNeed at: www.techbriefs.com/tn/200908c.html Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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Dissolvable Paper/Packaging Material

A company is searching for a disruptive technology relating to dispersible packaging materials. The material should easily dissolve in cold water and be 100% biodegradable in a short space of time, without compromising the strength and performance of the material for its given application. While paper-based products are expected as potential solutions, the material could also be polymer-based, a film, or bio-based. It should be manufactured from sustainable raw materials and have low toxicity for both final product and processing aids. Respond to this TechNeed at: www.techbriefs.com/tn/200908d.html Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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One-Megapixel Infrared Light Detector

A company seeks a detector array for the infrared region to detect two-dimensional radiation patterns. The sensor should have 1000 x 1000 pixels (or at least 512 × 640 pixels), which are individually addressable. The detector array is comparable to a high-speed CCD chip, but must have high sensitivity in the infrared around 1,300 nm. Respond to this TechNeed at: www.techbriefs.com/tn/200907c.html Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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Non-Fluoro-Based Textile Repellency Treatment

A company seeks a ready-to-use, non - fluorochemical - based repellent solution for oil- and water-borne stains for application on textiles. The textiles may be cotton, wool, or synthetic, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. This material may be fully formulated or partially formulated in a solventfree delivery solution. Respond to this TechNeed at: www.techbriefs.com/tn/200907d.html Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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Power Beaming for Small Robots and Remote Instruments

The NASA Ames Intelligent Robo - tics Group (IRG) is dedicated to enabling humans and robots to explore and learn about extreme environments, remote locations, and uncharted worlds. The IRG conducts applied research in a wide range of areas, with an emphasis on robotics systems science and field testing.

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Lightning Strike Protection for Composite Aircraft

NASA’s work in advanced aeronautics includes growing interest in environmentally responsive aircraft, one component of which involves use of composites to significantly reduce weight and, hence, fuel consumption. The new Boeing 787 aircraft is one recent example, and there has been a strong move toward composites in new general aviation and business jet aircraft. One disadvantage of this new direction is that the aircraft are far more vulnerable to lightning strikes. The energy deposited in a typical lightning strike involves tens of KV and 10,000-200,000 amperes, occurring in a fraction of a second. Without some type of shielding, or conductive path, the electrically insulated carbon fiber/ epoxy composites can be damaged, particularly at the entry and exit points for the strike. The aircraft instrumentation can also be damaged in such an event and extra shielding is often necessary for composite aircraft.What are the Challenges? Improved means are needed to identify when a plane is in fact struck by lightning, and both onboard and ground-based NDE methods are needed to assess the level of damage that occurred. Perhaps more importantly, means to eliminate or mitigate damage must be engineered in a cost-effective manner, ideally as a single “outer” shield that will protect the aircraft from both structural damage as well as shield instruments without additional internal hardware requirements.What is NASA Doing? Lightning damage detection/diagnosis technologies do not exist today for our modern fleet of aircraft, so one element of NASA’s program is to explore how this can be best accomplished both during flight and after the fact. Onboard current sensors will be used to measure the intensity and location of the lightning current during a strike. Simulations of lightning-arc events in the laboratory (see photo) with various test panels will provide baseline data for model development. The voltage/current measurements from such tests will be correlated against statistical data sets to estimate the level of damage expected on the composite and eventually to evaluate the safety risks associated with continuing the flight profile after a lightning strike has occurred. Since the aircraft fuselage and wing structure can be very complex, it will be important to develop physics-based models of the lightning strike event. This code would allow designers to consider different material solutions for test and evaluation and eventually should allow good correlation between the model and observed lightning strike effects in the field.What Applications Does NASA Envision? NASA intends this information and model to be made available to composite aircraft developers as a tool in their design efforts. Similar issues are faced in the wind turbine industry where the blades can be composites. There may also be applications in the electric power industry related to arc events in very high-voltage environments. What are NASA’s Needs? NASA is interested in collaborating with industry or university groups in several areas. On-board sensors for measurement of lightning strike intensity, location, and current flow during the event.Conductive paint technology or other “coating” concepts for composites to facilitate current flow, hence mitigate or eliminate structural damage, and/or remove any need for additional internal shielding of electronics.Physics-based models of complex composite structures/actual aircraft that can be adapted to include model lightning strike events to quantify electrical, mechanical, and thermal parameters to indicate damage. More Information For more information, contact Mr. George Szatkowski at 757-864-6194 or email nasa@techbriefs.com.

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