Advancing Fiber Optic Sensing Technology for Space Applications

PI: Allen Parker, NASA/Armstrong Flight Research Center

With the push towards the upcoming Artemis moon expeditions in the coming years, innovative technology solutions will be required to achieve the mission. A space rated Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) technology that can measure temperature, strain, shape, and liquid level sensing has been developed at the Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC). As with any new technology development, it must be accurate, reliable, economical, and well proven before being committed to long duration missions. The technology has gained wide spread acceptance in the lab environment, but has yet to be adopted in space applications. Opportunities to test the technology in a relevant environment are required to gain flight heritage and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL).

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

The team has two goals to move the technology forward. First, Increase the TRL of the technology by testing the FOSS on any available future launch opportunities. Second, collaborate with launch providers such as Blue Origin to understand their challenges as they pursue future moon missions. To meet these goals, the team would demonstrate an operational ready system that has successfully completed environmental testing, perform integration of the system and test article onto a launch platform, obtain data during the launch profile, and document the system performance for technology transfer and collaboration opportunities.

Technology Maturation

The Rocket Box would obtain data during the launch profile to demonstrate the performance of the system and thus increase the TRL of the technology.

Future Customers

LOFTID Reentry Vehicle Thermal Monitoring
Vehicle Structural Load Monitoring
Cryogenic Liquid Level
Structural Shape Measurement
Vehicle Certification and Model Validation

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NASA Directed
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

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