Phase I Demonstration of a Passive Missile Environment Monitor

Period of Performance: 05/09/2001 - 11/09/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The ability to safely detect fuel leaks, salt and water intrusion, charge, shock and temperature extremes in a missile canister is lacking. Normal methods used to determine a fuel leak, moisture, charge, or exposure to extreme temperatures and shock inside a missile canister are inadequate because they require power to operate. The introduction of voltage and current into the volatile fuel vapors, no matter how small, can be catastrophic in that it can ignite the very liquid it is attempting to detect. Battery powered systems are also impractical due to the five year certification period. Mainstream has a developed a concept for a passive inexpensive non-electrical, non-mechanical sensor to perform these detection functions. This indicator does not introduce any electrical discharge when performing the monitoring. Under this Phase I effort, Mainstream will completely demonstrate the leak detector and investigate the ideal configuration for this Navy missile application. The Phase I effort includes an extensive experimental demonstration of a visual indicator for use in missile canisters. Phase I will include critical proof-of-concept experiments to demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of the proposed monitor. This product would complement our existing line of passive system monitors and our marketing studies have indicated markets for a moisture/temperature/shock version of this monitor for the shipping industry, a charge/moisture/shock/temperature version of this indicator for the computer and electronics industries (for use in shipping and storage), and a fuel leakage indicator configuration for the energy industry.