Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015
NanoSonic has developed revolutionary multifunctional, super lightweight, self-healing and radiation shielding carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites as a viable lightweight material for space applications such as primary or secondary structures on NASA vehicles, habitat modules, and pressure vessel structures. While current composites are lightweight, they do not offer reliable methods for damage inspection. These advanced materials offer the ability to self-heal upon impact and allow for micro crack damage inspection via DC or RF measurements. During the Phase I program, this phenomenon was demonstrated on multifunctional smart structural composites consisting of: carbon fiber plies, NanoSonic's Thoraeus Rubber Kevlar Lightweight Shieling Veils (LSV), and our conductive self-healing microcapsules. The innovative microcapsules are comprised of a corrosion resistant HybridShield polymer shell, a resin-rich core of self-repairing, room temperature curing polymer, and Al nanoparticles to impart EMI and radiation shielding as well as a conductive pathway between the conductive Thoraeus Rubber veils to monitor both damage and repair via RF measurements. NanoSonic is working with Colorado State University, ILC Dover, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to increase the TRL of this technology from 5-7 during the Phase II program via mechanical, RF, and radiation shielding measurements and space qualification testing.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 122.07K | Year: 2015
This NASA Phase I SBIR program would fabricate high sensitivity semiconductor nanomembrane 'sensor skins' capable of multi-axis surface pressure characterization on flight test vehicles, wind tunnel models as well as operational aerospace vehicles, using SOI (Silicon on Insulator) NM techniques in combination with our pioneering HybridSil® ceramic nanocomposite materials. Such low-modulus, conformal nanomembrane sensor skins with integrated interconnect elements and electronic devices can be applied to new or existing wind tunnel models for multi-axis surface pressure analysis, or to lightweight UAVs as part of active flutter control systems. NanoSonic has demonstrated the feasibility of NM transducer materials in such sensor skins for the measurement of dynamic shear stress and normal pressure. Semiconductor NM sensor skins are thin, mechanically and chemically robust materials that may be patterned in two dimensions to create multi-sensor element arrays that can be embedded into small probe tips or conformally attached onto vehicle and model surfaces. Sensors may be connected to external support instrumentation either through thin film and ribbon cable interconnects, or potentially wirelessly using RF communication directly from electronic networks incorporated into the sensor skin material.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Logistics Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2015
The DLA Distribution Acquisitions Office acquires supplies and services for Defense Distribution Depots worldwide, such as packaging materials and equipment to support the DOD distribution network. NanoSonic is a small materials company that has worked to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing ground-breaking nanomaterials as environmentally friendly, safe, high performance products for defense prime customers. Our recent focus has been on delivering affordable, reliable, and innovative discrete parts as a certified green supplier. NanoSonic proposes to demonstrate an affordable method for the production of discrete, 3-dimensional fire blocking parts to DLA Aviation with our Phase II and procurement partner, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Cost-effective innovations in durable 3-D ceramic parts production have been inadequate to date. For example, 3-D printing requires significant up-front investment and is limited in materials input and its utility to produce ceramic parts. NanoSonic offers a highly affordable alternative: Polymer Derived Ceramic (PDC) Additive Lamination of 3-D fire blocking structures with fine features. NanoSonic shall increase the MRL from 45 during Phase I via customer approval, and to MRL7 during Phase II via cost reduction. Phase III shall be achieved upon DLA distribution of NanoSonics 3-D ceramic aerospace parts and aviation packaging materials at the DOD EMALL.
Agency: Department of Transportation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015
NanoSonic will work with the Giles County School System and Leidos transportation engineers to develop STEM lesson plans concerning ITS and CV technologies, and will demonstrate their use in the classroom with Middle School and High School teachers and students. During Phase I, twenty draft lesson plans were developed, ten for Middle School and ten for High School. During Phase II, these plans would be used in after-‐school ITS STEM classes, at three Giles County schools during Year 1 and at all County schools during Year 2, and in ITS STEM Summer Camps. Approximately twenty additional lesson plans would be developed, focusing on hands-‐on demonstrations of CV concepts. The lessons would be NanoSonic will work with the Giles County School System and Leidos transportation engineers to develop STEM lesson plans concerning ITS and CV technologies, and will demonstrate their use in the classroom with Middle School and High School teachers and students. During Phase I, twenty draft lesson plans were developed, ten for Middle School and ten for High School. During Phase II, these plans would be used in after-‐school ITS STEM classes, at three Giles County schools during Year 1 and at all County schools during Year 2, and in ITS STEM Summer Camps. Approximately twenty additional lesson plans would be developed, focusing on hands-‐on demonstrations of CV concepts. The lessons would be revised in response to reviews from a group of external evaluators, and the final plans and supporting materials would be delivered to the Department of Transportation for free distribution. Commercial products resulting from the Phase II program will include customized demonstration hardware kits corresponding to multiple ITS lessons, a boxed ITS Road Trip board game, and professionally printed, durable copies of lesson plans and supporting information for teachers, students and career counselors. Potential commercial partners, other school districts, and multiple government agencies have expressed interest in this program.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2015
Current and future communication and computer networks require affordable, high performance interconnecting wires and cables to take advantage of ultra high-speed communication transmission lines and computational hardware. Existing singlemode optical fiber interconnects are expensive and difficult to install by local users and consumers. To address this problem, NanoSonic is developing low-cost, easily handled polymer optical fibers with bandwidth-distance products greater than 1GHz.km. Short length interconnects of such fibers would allow the transmission of 10 Gb/sec data tens of meters with negligible degradation. During Phase I, NanoSonic demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating graded index polymer optical fibers using its patented molecular-level self-assembly nanotechnology manufacturing processes. Grading the index of the fiber allows higher bandwidth-distance product, as well as dispersion shifting and dispersion flattening important to maximize the number of parallel channels in dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) systems. Polymer fibers made using conventional methods do not allow the type of index modifications required to achieve such performance. Polymer optical fiber preforms were made by self-assembly, and preforms were collapsed and drawn to create prototype optical fibers. Initial measurements indicated performance close to that modeled. During Phase II, NanoSonic would work with the Polymicro subsidiary of Molex Inc., a major U.S. manufacturer of optical fiber cables and interconnects, to fabricate and evaluate improved polymer fiber prototypes. First, Phase I manufacturing equipment would be redesigned and reconstructed to incorporate proportional-integral-derivative (PID) feedback control. This would reduce errors in fiber diameter control over long lengths encountered during Phase I, allow the continuous production of kilometers of fiber that meets specifications, and maximize output per unit time while minimizing waste. Polymicro would assist with equipment design based on many years experience manufacturing specialized glass optical fiber products. Second, multiple groups, including Virginia Techs campus communication and computer network, DOE Berkeley and Oak Ridge laboratories, a regional telephone cooperative, a multi-school system data network, and two large U.S. technology companies, would perform beta site testing of short length polymer fiber interconnects. Beta test sites would potentially include GENI and ESnet hardware. Commercial Applications: The primary application of the graded index polymer fibers produced through this program would be as short length interconnects in high speed communication and computer networks - in other words, as low cost jumper cables up to a few hundred feet in length. Extended applications could include use as fibers with dispersion flattened spectral response that allows increased DWDM channel capacity; complex index grading enabled by self-assembly permits the fabrication of such waveguides.