Quantifiable and Reliable Structural Health Management Systems
Under Project Constellation, NASA is developing a new generation of spacecraft for human spaceflight. A significant percentage of the structures used in these spacecraft will be made of composite materials, and the Ares V payload shroud will be one of the largest composite structures ever built. This offers many challenges, not only for design and manufacturing, but also for inspection and maintenance. Inspection of large composite structures using traditional NDE methods is time consuming, expensive, and often not possible when access is limited (e.g. covered by a thermal protection system), resulting in a conservative (higher weight) design. Acellent proposes to develop a robust, state-of-the-art structural health monitoring (SHM) system to overcome these concerns. The Phase II will optimize the design and quantify the benefits for SHM on the Ares V payload shroud, and then expand the results to include other Ares V components such as the Altair Lunar Lander Structure, Earth Departure Stage (EDS) payload adapter, forward skirt and intertank, and the Core-to-EDS interstage. The proposed solution will be capable of detecting and quantifying damage with a high probability of detection (POD), accurately predicting the residual strength and remaining life of the structures with confidence, and providing information that will allow appropriate preventative actions on the monitored structure.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Acellent Technologies, Inc.
835 Stewart Drive Sunnyvale, CA 94085
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