Luna Innovations, Inc. | Date: 2017-04-06
A measurement system permits environmental, corrosion damage, and mechanical property measurements to assess protection properties of coatings. The system includes one or more multi-sensor panels, each multi-sensor panel having sensors for assessing coating barrier properties, free corrosion, and galvanic corrosion. Each multi-sensor panel is installed on a test rack that contains electronics for sensor excitation and sensor data acquisition throughout a corrosion test. Sensor data is collected, stored, and communicated to a base station. A network of multiple test racks can be supported by a base station to compare the performance of different coatings and material combinations simultaneously. The test racks can be used in accelerated atmospheric corrosion tests, outdoor test sites, or application service environments. Measurements of the capacity of a coating to maintain barrier properties, prevent free corrosion, galvanic corrosion, and environment-assisted cracking can be used to develop, select, and predict service performance of coatings.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2016
There are numerous regions across modern aircraft that necessitate advanced corrosion solutions in order to protect and maintain their readiness. One such application is the numerous cathodic fasteners that are galvanically coupled to anodic structural materials, like high-strength aluminum alloys. There is a need to bolster corrosion protection at these locations via a user-friendly surface treatment technology that is extremely durable and easy for maintainer application. Luna has developed a durable sol-gel surface treatment solution for this problem that is designed to reduce galvanic corrosion by i) providing excellent physical barrier protection against moisture and corrosive ions, and ii) imparting a durable and dense electrically insulating layer between mated components. This sol-gel treatment is inherently chrome-free and consists of a non-hazardous chemistry that results in a highly cross-linked inorganic/polymer hybrid film with excellent impact resistance, flexibility, and toughness. In Phase I, Luna demonstrated significantly reduced corrosion during accelerated galvanic fastener testing with sol-gel treatments applied to two of the most aggressive cathodic aircraft materials: 316 stainless and 4140 high strength steel. The team will build on this progress to optimize and extensively characterize the surface treatment and fastener application process during the Phase II.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2015
Special Operations Forces that are deployed in austere areas in the AFRICOM and PACOM are associated with an increased risk of envenomation. Current treatment uses species-specific or polyvalent antivenins that are generated from the sera of animals immunized with whole venom, necessitating the correct identification of the venomous species and continuous injection of large volume of antibodies at an ICU-capable medical facility with increased risk of life-threatening complications. There is a clear capability gap to protect deployed soldiers against venom exposure. Luna proposes to develop bioinspired synthetic nanoparticles as broad-spectrum antidotes with antibody-like affinity and improved toxin-neutralizing capacity. The technical feasibility was demonstrated by rational design, synthesis, and in vitro testing of nanoparticles for five subclasses of venom toxins in the Phase I. Phase II effort will focus on optimize nanoparticles to achieve broad spectrum protection against whole venoms for at least one particular United States Armed Forces Command regions. The Phase II will thoroughly evaluate the efficacy, safety and PKPD of nanoparticle antidote and these IND-enabling preclinical studies will prepare for an IND application.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2015
The outer cable strands used to tow the AQS-20A from the RMMV are made from Nitronic 50, an austenitic stainless steel that, under normal circumstances, exhibits excellent corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. Unfortunately, the cables are experiencing early life corrosion problems due to salt water deposit buildup that occurs over repeated operations and subsequent system stowage. To achieve the corrosion and abrasion resistance necessary for the AQS-20A tow cable, Luna is collaborating with Lockheed Martin to develop a hydrophobic watershedding coating that is mechanically durable, optically transparent, and easy to apply. Numerous accomplishments were made in the Phase I effort that demonstrated the excellent performance of Lunas coating system. Coatings were formulated that provided excellent abrasion resistance, high flexibility, optical transparency, and good corrosion protection of coated Nitronic 50 flat substrates, as well as actual tow cable test articles. In the Phase II, Luna will further improve performance and processing of the hydrophobic coating, validate its use as a robust and cost-effective solution for the RMS tow cable corrosion problem, and transition an application process for implementation testing.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 748.66K | Year: 2016
ABSTRACT: The useful life of medium caliber gun barrels is dominated by fatigue cracking initiated early in the weapons deployment. Fatigue cracks worsen in severity throughout the life of the barrel until they reach a critical size, indicating end of life. During the Phase I effort, Luna demonstrated that eddy current (EC) techniques are effective in detecting both machined and fatigue-induced cracks inside gun barrels. EC-based measurements performed on several medium caliber barrels were not influenced by the intricate rifling profile of the bore of the barrel while remaining sensitive to cracks ranging from under 0.02 inches to greater than 0.375 inches. In the Phase II effort, Luna proposes development of an EC-based prototype with artificial intelligence post-processing algorithms for complete autonomy in assessing fatigue condition within barrels. A man-portable prototype for use on flight lines will be assembled, allowing for barrel evaluation without requiring their removal from the aircraft. Based on a multi-frequency excitation scheme, an improved design of the probes, and a trained neural classifier, the prototype will identify the number of existing cracks around the barrel circumference and assess their individual depths and locations.; BENEFIT: This project directly addresses the need for increasing savings and reducing maintenance cost of medium caliber gun barrels. Maintenance time and costs will be reduced by increasing barrel usage and reducing barrel replacement frequency. Currently, medium caliber gun barrels are retired when a maximum number of rounds is reached, often leading to premature removals. The developed system will allow for continued barrel usage throughout its entire useful life. The overall anticipated result of this effort is development of a new tool for assessing the condition of medium caliber gun inventory, replacing todays statistically-based gun retirement protocol with a condition-based inventory management protocol. The proposed technology has broad market potential and meets a significant economic and national security need. Anticipated commercial uses include pipe inspection in the electric power, marine propulsion, and petrochemical industries.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 998.15K | Year: 2016
Signature management technology such as camouflage coatings on military tactical vehicles significantly reduces detection by enemy combatants. Black tires and tracks, however, are in direct contrast to the vehicle and surroundings and constitute a large portion of the vehicle profile. To satisfy this need in Phase I Luna developed a durable, color-matching coating that can be simply applied to tires and treads and has been proven to reduce the overall vehicle signature, providing additional protection to the combat soldiers. The coating completely covers the tire and matches the vehicle body paint in color and specular gloss. It is easily applied with standard application methods such as spraying or brushing, and can be used in touch-up applications. The coating conforms to the elastomeric material of tire rubber and has been proven to outlast tires during endurance testing and not interfere with tire performance. The coating can be rapidly applied and cures quickly at ambient conditions to full properties limiting equipment downtime. In Phase II Luna will continue coating development through coating scale-up, environmental testing such as ozone and UV resistance and more extensive thermal aging, packaging trials, and full scale field assessment evaluations.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2016
The frequency of ocular injuries sustained on the battlefield and in victims of terrorist bombings has increased significantly in recent years. Restoring vision to soldiers suffering ocular trauma injuries is critical to restore their overall quality of life and allow them to return to the front lines . The current standard of care for ocular surface injuries involves the application of human amniotic membrane to the injured site. While extremely effective at stimulating repair, the required processing is expensive and makes application of the membranes difficult in military hospitals and other emergency situations. In order to address the challenges associated with ocular trauma treatment, Luna Innovations is developing a unique biomimetic ocular biomaterial that consists of aligned nanofibers that support a scar-reducing, growth-stimulating hydrogel that will promote native ocular surface regeneration. This material will be compatible with both traditional and sutureless adhesion techniques and will have the potential to release therapeutics into the injured defect site in future product iterations.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 462.62K | Year: 2016
The U.S. Army is currently developing mobile wastewater treatment solutions reducing the need for wastewater removal from field-forward and tactical bases. Treatment process verification measurements are required to satisfy EPA regulations for the discharge of wastewater with common water quality assessments including fecal coliform load, biochemical and chemical oxygen demands, and total organic carbon. Using standard analytical techniques to monitor these measures of water quality typically requires a combination of lengthy test durations, technical expertise, sensitive instrumentation, and production of hazardous wastes. Leveraging experience with water analysis, fecal coliform quantification assays, and encapsulated microbe based sensors, Luna Innovations has designed and established feasibility of an automated platform for analysis of each measure in near real-time with minimal operational requirements or expertise. During the Phase II program proposed herein, Luna will include integration of chemical oxygen demand and total organic carbon analyses, fabricate prototype systems relying on optical interrogation of our sensor components, and test and validate the system against standard methods.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 972.38K | Year: 2016
Condition-based monitoring has the potential to significantly reduce operating costs for the U.S. Navy through enhanced maintenance scheduling and reduction in unnecessary inspections / overhauls. Embedded sensors provide monitoring capabilities for data acquisition, analysis and transmission when sufficient power is available through hardwired power, battery, or energy harvesting strategies. There has been a recent surge in research for sensor nodes powered by energy harvesters, however most applications are limited to low-frequency, low-bandwidth applications. There is significant interest in developing new sensing concepts that provide continuous monitoring of high-frequency transient events indicative of failures in hydraulic pumps, actuator/valve systems, and bearings for the U.S. Navy. Luna proposes a new paradigm in how embedded sensors are designed and deployed with energy harvesting / management as a central design component. The proposed approach focuses on four principal functionalities of the sensor node: 1) continuous signal monitoring, 2) self-powered triggering, 3) low-power acquisition / analysis, and 4) multi-tiered power management. The feasibility of this comprehensive design approach has been demonstrated through the Phase I program, and will evolve into a deployable, self-powered condition monitoring system through Phase II development efforts.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2016
Marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy converters are often installed in remote, harsh environments where access is limited and maintenance is a costly and labor intensive process. The lack of real time information on the status and health of critical structural components prevents the adoption of condition based maintenance strategies, and thus requires the use of preemptory maintenance practices. This creates a deficiency of information on failures, and in turn impedes future design efforts. General statement of how this problem is being addressed: Luna is developing an embedded sensing system that combines sensors, electronics, and structural health and prognostic algorithms to identify the presence, type, and severity of structural damage to MHK devices. This technology will provide results that can inform control strategies and maintenance activities to lower operational costs and improve energy converter availability for energy production. What was done in Phase I: In Phase I, Luna used active electromechanical impedance measurements to obtain structural data and relate this to the onset of discrete damage for composite plates, as well as fatigue induced degradation from manufacturing flaws that are common in MHK devices. Detection and prediction algorithms were developed to perform a damage state analysis of the results to classify system health, with detection accuracies of 85.7 – 93.4% observed for composite specimens tested in the laboratory. What is planned for the Phase II project: The Phase II project will extend research in the Phase I, generating predictions of the remaining useful life for components based on damage state assessments and estimates of future loading conditions. These algorithms will be designed for implementation on embedded sensing hardware, with a preproduction prototype designed and built to provide data acquisition, signal processing, analysis, and communication with MHK control systems. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed technology will result in a marketable structural health management system that can be integrated into existing or future MHK systems. The technology provides comprehensive characterization of the structural integrity of critical components in the MHK device throughout its lifecycle, comprised of development, testing, towing, installation, lifting, and normal operation of the energy converter. The information generated by this system will be used to notify operators of upset conditions or impending structural faults based on measured or predicted health states. This will have application to a variety of MHK devices, and derivatives of the technology will extend to other renewable energy platforms such as land based and offshore wind turbines. Key Words: Marine and hydrokinetic, MHK, ocean energy, water power, structural health monitoring, prognostics and health management, PHM, composite structures.