mechanical and fluid systems
Fluid Structure Coupling Technology
FSC is a passive technology that can operate in different modes to control vibration: Harmonic absorber mode: The fluid can be leveraged to act like a classic harmonic absorber to control low-frequency vibrations. This mode leverages already existing system mass to decouple a structural resonance from a discrete frequency forcing function or to provide a highly damped dead zone for responses across a frequency range. Shell mode: The FSC device can couple itself into the shell mode and act as an additional spring in a series, making the entire system appear dynamically softer and reducing the frequency of the shell mode. This ability to control the mode without having to make changes to the primary structure enables the primary structure to retain its load-carrying capability. Tuned mass damper mode: A small modification to a geometric feature allows the device to act like an optimized, classic tuned mass damper.
Fluid Measurement Sensor
The fluid measurement sensor is configured with a spiral electrical trace on flexible substrate. The sensor receives a signal from the accompanying magnetic field data acquisition system. Once electrically active, the sensor produces its own harmonic magnetic field as the inductor stores and releases magnetic energy. The antenna of the measurement acquisition system is switched from transmitting to receiving mode to acquire the magnetic-field response of the sensor. The magnetic-field response attributes of frequency, amplitude, and bandwidth of the inductor correspond to the physical property states measured by the sensor. The received response is correlated to calibrated data to determine the physical property measurement. When multiple sensors are inductively coupled, the data acquisition system only needs to activate and read one sensor to obtain measurement data from all of them. Fluid level measurement occurs in several ways. In the immersion method, the capacitance of the sensor circuit changes as it is immersed in fluid, thus changing the frequency response as the fluid level rises or falls. Fluid level can also be measured from the outside of a non-conductive container. The response frequency from the sensor is dependent upon the inductance of the container plus the combination of fluid and air inside it, which corresponds to the level of liquid inside the container. Roll and pitch are measured by using three or more sensors in a container. With any given orientation, each sensor will detect a different fluid level, thus providing the basis for calculating the fluid angle. Volume can be measured in the same way, using the angle levels detected by the sensors and the geometric characteristics of the container to perform the volume calculation.
Highly Accurate Level Sensor
The FAA and Aircraft Industry recognize the need to reduce fuel tank explosion risk by eliminating ignition sources and changing fuel tank design and maintenance. This technology can be utilized to wirelessly sense the level of fuel in aircrafts, thus mitigating risk of inadvertent electrical failures and sparks. NO wires enter the fuel tank and the radio frequency transponder typically requires 10 milliwatts of power or less. The technology can be used for dielectric tanks, by simply applying the sensors to the tank surface (as pictured). Through certain techniques the technology can be applied on metal tanks with no wires entering the tank from the outside. Currently, there are more than 20,910 jet aircraft in service. This presents a large market opportunity for retrofitting this technology onto existing airplane fuel tanks Rapidly evolving aviation services are expected to spur worldwide requirement for 36,770 new jet aircraft by 2033. This presents a growing market for new installations.
Fiber Optic Sensing Technologies
The FOSS technology revolutionizes fiber optic sensing by using its innovative algorithms to calculate a range of useful parameters—any and all of which can be monitored simultaneously and in real time. FOSS also couples these cutting-edge algorithms with a high-speed, low-cost processing platform and interrogator to create a single, robust, stand-alone instrumentation system. The system distributes thousands of sensors in a vast network—much like the human body's nervous system—that provides valuable information. <b><i>How It Works</b></i> Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are embedded in an optical fiber at intervals as small as 0.25 inches, which is then attached to or integrated into the structure. An innovative, low-cost, temperature-tuned distributed feedback (DFB) laser with no moving parts interrogates the FBG sensors as they respond to changes in optical wavelength resulting from stress or pressure on the structure, sending the data to a processing system. Unique algorithms correlate optical response to displacement data, calculating the shape and movement of the optical fiber (and, by extension, the structure) in real time, without affecting the structure's intrinsic properties. The system uses these data to calculate additional parameters, displaying parameters such as 2D and 3D shape/position, temperature, liquid level, stiffness, strength, pressure, stress, and operational loads. <b><i>Why It Is Better</b></i> FOSS monitors strain, stresses, structural instabilities, temperature distributions, and a plethora of other engineering measurements in real time with a single instrumentation system weighing less than 10 pounds. FOSS can also discern between liquid and gas states in a tank or other container, providing accurate measurements at 0.25-inch intervals. Adaptive spatial resolution features enable faster signal processing and precision measurement only when and where it is needed, saving time and resources. As a result, FOSS lends itself well to long-term bandwidth-limited monitoring of structures that experience few variations but could be vulnerable as anomalies occur (e.g., a bridge stressed by strong wind gusts or an earthquake). As a single example of the value FOSS can provide, consider oil and gas drilling applications. The FOSS technology could be incorporated into specialized drill heads to sense drill direction as well as temperature and pressure. Because FOSS accurately determines the drill shape, users can position the drill head exactly as needed. Temperature and pressure indicate the health of the drill. This type of strain and temperature monitoring could also be applied to sophisticated industrial bore scope usage in drilling and exploration. <b><i>For more information about the full portfolio of FOSS technologies, see visit <a href=https://technology-afrc.ndc.nasa.gov/featurestory/fiber-optic-sensing>https://technology-afrc.ndc.nasa.gov/featurestory/fiber-optic-sensing</a></b></i>