Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2016
High performance computing (HPC) and network systems have been experiencing dramatic growth in information processing capabilities. However, meeting the demand for increased capacity (larger bandwidths and higher data transmission rates) should be balanced by lower cost and energy consumption has become a limiting factor in the performance of such systems. Furthermore, HPC systems will be increasingly augmented by large numbers of sensors as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), which must be efficiently integrated. Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS) has been working towards fiber optic sensor networks supporting thousands of sensors connected by multiple nodes of highly parallel processing interrogators, which enable simultaneous sampling of many sensors. Simultaneity provided by the parallel processing capability is a key enabler for applications such as monitoring ultrasonic wave propagation in large structures for efficient damage detection and structural health monitoring in large structures. Customized interleaved arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) with 100, 200 or 400 GHz channel spacing are core to ruggedized parallel processing systems. However, for large scale adoption, optoelectronic integration leading to reduced Size, Weight and Power, Performance, Cost (SWaP-PC) is critical. Silicon photonics manufacturing technology is promising in that (1) it can be an enabler for such integration, and (2) its high index contrast allows for shrinking of component size. Accordingly, IFOS proposes step-by-step development of silicon photonics chips that increasingly integrate parallel photonic processors with optical sources, routing modules, photo-detector arrays and eventually CMOS electronics. In addition to extending DOEs HPC capabilities the parallel processing photonic chip technology, which can provide a basis for distributed computing power and IoT sensory input, commercial applications will be widespread once mass production of photonic chips allows SWaP-PC reductions in comparison with present-day comparatively costly and bulky assembly of multiple optical components. In Phase I, IFOS will collaborate with Professor Watts’s group at MIT / AIM Photonics to develop a proof-of-concept integrated photonics design containing an 8-channel photonics processor (SOI – silicon on insulator) and compatible source, detector array and routing module for fabrication at MIT / AIM Photonics in Phase II. Algorithm concepts will be developed for dealing with any expected signal degradation due to silicon photonics imperfections. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: On the consumer side, we envision iPhone size interrogation nodes. However, while the payoff can be considerable, the challenges are also significant. For example, silica-on-silicon technology allows for high quality AWGs supporting up to 128 channels, silicon photonics still struggles with the quality of 8 to 16-channel AWGs, not to mention integration of source, photo-detector and passive or active routing components
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.98K | Year: 2015
NASA's future science and exploratory missions will require much lighter, smaller, and longer life rate sensors that can provide high accuracy navigational performance that will not be compromised in stressing radiation and vibration environments. IFOS proposes to develop a compact, highly innovative Inertial Reference Measurement Unit (IRU) that pushes the state of the art in high accuracy performance from a FOG with drastically reduced optical and electronic package volumes. The proposed IRU is envisioned as a critical part of an Inertial Measurement System (IMU) to be prototyped in future phases of the project. The basic design features a novel, small volume, high performance FOG configuration, capable of providing high-end tactical grade and navigational grade performance from much smaller size units as compared with IMUs currently available. The proposed gyroscope is based on an innovative approach using a Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) coils that can be extended to shorter wavelength (SW) operation for even more drastic size and weight reductions while maintaining accuracy and low noise attributes at kHz bandwidths. While the optic unit is inherently radiation resistant, the project also aims to apply cutting-edge electronics packaging approaches that are compatible with radiation hard (RH) components. Phase I will focus on feasibility study of the PCF FOG concept, demonstration of critical components, performance/size tradeoffs and preliminary designs of FOG-based packages, leading to a prototype IRU to be designed and built in Phase II, where advanced designs for an IMU will also be developed.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2015
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant In this FastTrack Phase I II SBIR application IFOS in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Design Research CDR proposes to develop and validate an actively steered photo actuated small caliber needle for precise imaging assisted percutaneous procedures This innovation specifically addresses the need for precise needle placement in procedures targeting deep tissue where routes of entry are restricted due to anatomical obstructions and the need to avoid vital organs The proposed active steering can compensate for the deflection encountered during needle insertion into soft tissue which becomes increasingly significant as the path to the target lengthens Such deviations from the planned path can result in multiple reinsertions adding to patient discomfort and procedure time and compromising the effectiveness of minimally invasive procedures The active steering concept is based on optical activation of a shape memory alloy SMA embedded within a flexible stylet Design features compatible with standard needle tips and outer cannula sheaths will be employed Unlike other techniques based on electrical or magnetic actuation the proposed approach is compatible with all major imaging techniques including MRI By using fiber optic connections the stand off distance from the laser power source to the needle can be greater than that for actuation motors required for tendon approaches The technique requires minimal power input and can be implemented in a user friendly hand held biopsy needle system While the basic needle concept does not rely on complex algorithms and robotic needle insertion systems the basic design includes a streamlined back end that affords a ready connection to more complex instrumentation including advanced online imaging interface capabilities In prior work bending rates of over per second have been repeatably achieved in phantoms that mimic the properties of human prostate tissue Also the collateral temperature rise in surrounding tissue was shown to be minimal effectively eliminating thermal damage as a concern The Phase I effort is designed to demonstrate still greater deflection efficiency using various needle insertion strategies in ex vivo prostate tissue using a novel approach involving low transition temperature SMAs and optimized superelastic biopsy needle structures and control This work will lead to further development activities in Phase II including thinner needl designs a console design and a closed loop control system that enables real time needle curvature and in situ tissue reaction force measurements In Phase II we also will investigate steering protocols that would take advantage of axial rotation and other known passive control strategies thereby adding bending degrees of freedom and dexterity to the needle system These studies will culminate in a series of in vivo experiments targeting prostate biopsy and brachytherapy procedures under imaging modalities such as ultrasound and MRI to establish key clinical efficacy and safety parameters and validate practical clinical aspects for facilitatig FDA approval and the successful introduction of the new active needle to end users PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This research will develop technology for the active steering of needles under imaging assisted percutaneous procedures including biopsy and surgical interventions A controllable small gage biopsy needle would enhance the targeting precision and overall efficacy of minimally invasive deep tissue surgical procedures while enhancing safety and patient comfort The active device will comprise an easy to operate versatile and MRI compatible class of small gauge needles that will improve procedure success rates reduce bleeding complications due to multiple insertions significantly shorten procedure times and could bring many new procedures to the MRI suite while advancing the field of smart needle development for robotic surgery tools with broad based spin off applications for both oncological and non oncological medical fields
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.51M | Year: 2015
Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS) and Stanford University (SU) intend to demonstrate a 150 meter long, 12-sensor depth insensitive pressure sensor array. The overall goal of this SBIR project is to develop an innovative, passive, low-power array of acoustic pressure and vector sensors that can operate effectively across all ocean depths to detect, classify, and localize low-level signals. The focus is on optical sensor technology, low-power array sensor optical telemetry, and the interrogator/demodulator. The proposed technology will have application to submarine detection in deep (> 6 kilometer) deployments and will be miniaturized for implementation in A-size sonobuoys.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2015
ABSTRACT:IFOS proposes to design and fabricate a hypersonic test bed using a research cone instrumented with optical fiber sensors. IFOS will demonstrate the feasibility of developing an innovative optical fiber based system to enable precision measurement of high-frequency heat flux/skin friction in hypersonic flows. The proposed sensing system is based on fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) and will be mounted so as to be non-intrusive to the hypersonic flow. In Phase I we develop a test article design and fabrication process, and sensorize the test article with a new fiber optic heat flux and skin friction measurement system. We assess merits and deficiencies of each with respect to expected performance, fabrication, and testing. We will develop plans for hypersonic wind tunnel experiments. In Phase II, we will produce more test articles, conduct extensive hypersonic wind tunnel tests, and collect wind tunnel and other performance data for the test article and demonstrate utility for computational tool application and CFD modeling and simulation validation.BENEFIT:The proposed diagnostic system will have Phase III application within an Air Force sponsored ground or flight research campaign to high Mach numbers. Initial work would develop techniques that can be applied in many different hypersonic tunnels. These verified techniques could then be used to measure heat flux on other geometries of interest, such as blunt geometries of interest to NASA, cowl inlets on scramjet vehicles, hypersonic gliding reentry vehicles (for Earth and other planetary atmospheres) and other geometries of interest to the Department of Defense and NASA.
Agency: Department of Transportation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015
IFOS will develop a hybrid fiber optic sensing system focused on transit rail systems. It will combine (1) Brillouin Optical Time Domain Analysis provide a larger reach for strain and temperature measurement, and (2) broadband FBG sensing technology to provide calibration and extra sensing capabilities in hotspots as well as verify the strain and temperature discrimination in the Brillouin measurement. The broadband nature will enable measurement of low frequency strains and forces as indicators of track buckling and the high frequency measurements will enable acoustic emission detection as a damage indicator. In addition the system will include signal processing software to extract the component of track rail vibrations indicating precise speed and loading as well as have the potential to save lives by providing indicators of trespassing or obstructions on the track.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016
Optical fibers are inherently tolerant of cosmic radiation and a wide temperature range, immune to electromagnetic noise and thus solar flares, etc. Embedded fiber sensors can be highly resistant to shock and vibration, hence their usage in the oil drilling industry. IFOS will work with Stanford?s Center for Design Research to develop a robotic prospecting tool with fiber-optic based haptic sensing (dynamic force, vibration, temperature) and capability to detect water, volatiles, metals, and organic compounds. A tool with in-situ analysis capabilities will allow preliminary prospecting to decide what samples are most worthwhile to collect, enabling sampling of a much larger area than one could afford to do otherwise. The prospecting tool will provide a basis for telegeology, where a field geologist can replay haptic display information it gathers. Phase 1 will develop a feasibility prototype with fiber optic haptic and water detection capabilities. Phase 2 will develop a full prototype.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.97K | Year: 2016
Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS) proposes to develop an effective real-time, in situ damage locating and growth monitoring system of composite structures by optimizing a smart, high-speed fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor and piezoelectric actuator placement strategy. A new damage identification technique is proposed from which damage in composites such as delamination and impact-related defects can be detected. The proposed technique utilizes the pitch-catch Lamb wave signals obtained from an FBG sensor and piezoelectric actuator network, without the need of baseline signals from the pristine condition. The project goals include designing an ultra-high-speed/high resolution, small footprint FBG sensor and piezoelectric actuator network plus an FBG interrogator, constructing a system model, fabricating a test platform and developing signal processing algorithms to identify and measure Lamb wave signals in the presence of a quasi-static background strain field. The system model will demonstrate proof-of-principle, and the test results will provide proof-of-functionality of the proposed sensor system as a measurement method for damage identification in composite structures. The methodology proposed by IFOS includes using advanced signal processing algorithms. IFOS and its collaborators in this project will develop a Phase II plan that includes a development and integration strategy, potential demonstration opportunities, program schedule, and estimated costs.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 155.00K | Year: 2016
New methods and technologies are needed to evaluate, improve, and/or optimize the reliability, accuracy, and/or performance of drilling technologies and instrumentation, testing methods and applications, and modeling or analysis of deep borehole systems. These new technologies will address key issues that affect the future of nuclear energy, in particular, resolution of materials disposition associated with the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Disposition of defense program high-level nuclear waste products and used nuclear fuel from civilian reactors remains a significant national challenge. General statement of how this problem is being addressed IFOS’ innovation in Phase I is a novel fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG) used as a navigation/ inspection sensor in deep borehole drilling operations for measurement while drilling (MWD). The proposed sensor provides real-time, high-speed monitoring of the orientation of the drill head at the bottom of the well without the durability and reliability issues associated with the existing mechanical gyros. IFOS’ innovative solution addresses the primary challenges in this application including the harsh environment (high temperature and vibration), and size constraints including developing an unprecedented technology for a ruggedized, high-temperature optical source. In Phase I, IFOS will demonstrate the feasibility of its solution by developing a robust, small footprint, high-temperature, self-contained (downhole optics and electronics) FOG system. In Phase II the IFOS research team will install the complete sensing system in a test rig provided by IFOS collaborators and demonstrate its cost-effective, reliable, and accurate operation. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits MWD is a growing segment of the oil and gas service industry both in the US and abroad. Gyroscopes have been widely used in directional survey. The accuracy and thoroughness of MWD data have been extremely valuable in challenging oil and gas well drilling operations. In exploratory wells, real-time decisions can be made based on the MWD data regarding the control and progress of the drilling process. The public benefit is that at the conclusion of this program we will have a better, smaller gyro to offer for numerous commercial applications. A low-cost sensor meeting the desired goals would also have great impact on guidance, navigation, and control systems for launch vehicles, missiles, and other applications requiring precision stabilization. Other commercial applications include active suspension systems, large 6- DOF vibration test systems, manufacturing robotic control sensors, and commercial aircraft inertial navigation systems (INS). Key Words: fiber optic gyroscope, deep borehole deposition, directional drilling, measurement while drilling.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 747.07K | Year: 2016
This project aims to develop a compact, highly innovative Inertial Reference/Measurement Unit (IRU/IMU) that pushes the state-of-the-art in high accuracy performance from a FOG with drastically reduced optical and electronic package volumes. The proposed gyroscope is based on an innovative approach using Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) coils that reduces the major gyro error sources and enables a radiation hard sensor in smaller volume compared to state-of-the-art. Phase 1 addressed the feasibility of the PCF FOG concept, demonstration of critical components, performance/size tradeoffs, and preliminary designs of FOG-based IRU and IMU, leading to a prototype gyro to be designed and built in Phase 2. In particular, Phase 1 involved a comprehensive study of available state-of-the-art PCF and associated components. Based on this, three different PCFs were obtained and extensively tested for suitability in small gyro applications emphasizing tight bending diameters and temperature tests. The tests demonstrated that the technology is sufficiently developed to enable implementation of advanced PCF-based FOGs in the near future. Phase 2 will (1) implement selected PCF for the gyro application, develop and evaluate components including the PCF coil, modulator and polarizers, and develop the required support infrastructure and tooling, (2) perform performance modeling and trade-offs followed by a complete PCF gyro design, (3) evaluate low-power solutions for the light source and electronics and preliminary valuation of unique electronic miniaturization designs, (4) deliver a tested and validated gyro sensor and electronics, and (5) design a compact open-loop PCF FOG-based 3-axis IRU system. The Phase 2 strategy includes a development and integration plan, potential demonstration opportunities, program schedule, transition activities, and estimated costs. Our Phase 2 base work plan is designed to advance the TRL to 5, with TRL 6 being obtained in a Phase 2-X program.