Rapid In-Place Composite Rotor Damage Detection

Period of Performance: 06/10/2016 - 12/09/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Luna Innovations is proposing to develop the Rapid In-Place Composite Rotor Damage Detection (RIPCoRDD) for determining and tracking the structural health of composite rotorcraft blades. There is a need for accurate, reliable assessments of rotor condition, particularly for damage which may not be visible from the surface. The RIPCoRDD system is designed such that it will result in absolutely no increase in weight, power consumption, or volume of the rotorcraft. The core of the RIPCoRDD device is a unique, distributed, fiber optic strain sensor which provides spatially dense strain measurements (every 1.25-5 mm) within the composite structure of the blade, coupled with a ground based installation of Luna?s proven instrumentation. During Phase I Luna (with guidance from a rotorcraft OEM partner) will demonstrate the ability to detect and characterize damage which occurs in sample composite structures. During Phase II Luna will mature the technology to TRL6 by testing the system in a complete rotor. Commercialization will focus on transitioning the technology first to OEM manufacturers for non-destructive inspection applications, followed by deployment to rotorcraft end users for lifetime monitoring and diagnostics.