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Posted: October 26, 2009

Sporian Developing Vibration and Chemical Health Surveillance Technology for Solid Rocket Motors

(Nanowerk News) Sporian Microsystems, a developer of sensors and sensor systems, has been awarded two contracts from the US Air Force to develop small, modular, field-deployable sensors for use in solid rocket motor (SRM) health assessment in the field or the depot. One project will focus on sensing potentially damaging vibrations and impacts using Sporian's AssetOverseer(R) SS family of accelerometers. The other effort will monitor solid rocket motor bore vapor chemistry. The efforts leverage Sporian's expertise in areas including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, analytical chemistry, optics, low power design, wireless communications and electro-mechanical packaging.
"The system should help increase operational readiness and reduce the cost of ownership by extending the service life of assets and reducing lot level replacements based on time alone. We expect to develop a low-power, networked system that will give an unprecedented, yet cost-effective view of the evolving health of these systems," said Dr. Brian Schaible of Sporian.
The Motor Branch of Space and Missile Propulsion Division of the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California will monitor the results of Sporian's development efforts. ATK Launch Systems of Brigham City, UT will provide consulting support to Sporian, providing physical design requirements for retrofit and forward-fit SRM deployments and data requirements for ATK's physics-based simulation models to predict asset damage and remaining lifetime from sensor inputs. Because the contracts are targeted at small businesses, ATK's participation is capped at 1/3 of the contract funding. Beyond the DoD, Sporian anticipates opportunities in building control systems, industrial process control, occupational health and safety, and homeland defense.
About Sporian
Sporian Microsystems, Inc. is an aggressive sensors and packaging company. Sporian develops, markets, manufactures and sells a family of novel sensors, multiple sensor-suites, sensor-subsystems and sensor data-loggers. These systems communicate via wireless and wired interconnects, and they deliver several key features, including portability (small size and low power consumption), low cost, and high COTS content. The company owns deep technical, marketing and managerial talent and a strong, differentiated intellectual property and patent base. Sporian is pursuing a product development roadmap that includes four interrelated product lines:
  • Environmental sensors including such parameters as temperature, vibration, humidity, shock, and chemical species present in the environment,
  • Patented biological and chemical sensors for environmental contaminant and serum pathogen detection,
  • Sensors, coatings and packaging for harsh, high temperature and pressure environments,
  • Systems to integrate sensors with signal processing, data logging, wired and wireless communications, and interface software.
  • Source: Sporian Microsystems (press release)
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