Small-scale Health Monitoring Device for In-tube Environment Monitoring
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-078
SSP - Mr. Michael Pyryt -
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 26, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Small-scale Health Monitoring Device for In-tube Environment Monitoring


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes, Weapons


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a novel sensor or suite of sensors to be integrated into a future environmental monitoring system with sensor(s) that will collect environmental conditions for analysis motors and will be exposed to explosive environments.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy has a need for on-motor environment monitoring. Understanding the exposure conditions of a motor allows for better evaluation of motor health and aging trends. A sensor or an array of sensors that provide sensing, on-board power, and data storage is ideal. This effort should produce a sensor or suite of sensors that can monitor near-motor environment at all times, but is not integrated into a larger monitoring system. The approach should consider and recommend a solution for powering the sensor and storing the data or performing the same process through passive means.
The sensors must have the ability to collect temperature and humidity, with the possibility of the following additional measurements:
- Pressure
- Shock
- Vibration
- Strain
- Chemical vapor sensor (e.g., nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrous acid, ozone, carbon dioxide, and methane)

This SBIR topic is focused on sensors only and not on an integrated environmental monitoring system, which will be notionally mounted to aft and forward domes of a rocket motor. The sensor(s) should be functional if left on the rocket motor for long periods of time (at least 10 years, but up to 40 or more years) and be self-powered. The sensor(s) should have low power and low voltage requirements, at or below 12V, meet Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (i.e., HERO) requirements for off-shore use, and be capable of intermittent use while maintaining calibration within 1% for an extended period of at least 10 years.

PHASE I: Develop a technical concept for motor environmental monitoring sensors. Proposed design concepts should be completed during this Phase. Laboratory-scale experiments and/or modeling to verify the proposed concept(s) for health monitoring sensors should be completed, and the completion of key tests to transition from Phase I to Phase II. Identify risks to the technical approach and develop/evaluate plans to mitigate those risks for Phase II. Coordinate with Navy SBIR liaisons key technical requirements for environmental properties to be measured, size of sensor, application method, lifespan of sensor, power, and data storage/transmission.

PHASE II: Design and develop a prototype of the environmental sensor or sensor array based on the concept(s) from Phase I. Ensure that the design includes, at a minimum, temperature and humidity monitoring capabilities. Ensure that the design yields the ability to apply the sensor on the forward or aft dome of the rocket motor. Complete laboratory tests of the sensor prototype to validate operation and feasibility. Design the test to emulate the installation, sensing period, removal, and download of the data. Perform laboratory-scale experiments and modeling to verify the concept for environmental monitoring. Test a performance of material compatibility test to ensure survivability of the system over long periods of time.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Update the sensor or sensor array design from Phase II efforts. Manufacture an updated prototype and demonstrate use on a fleet asset through certification and qualification of the system for deployment and use in the fleet. This technology has the potential to be used commercially in any industry that has a need for environment monitoring in areas of high hazards.


1. Buswell, J. “Lessons Learned from Health Monitoring of Rocket Motors.” 41st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, July 2005.

2. Miller, M. ”Health Monitoring of Munitions for Mission Readiness.”, 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, July 2007.

KEYWORDS: Solid Rocket Motor; Environment Monitoring; Environmental Sensors; Self-powered Sensors; Explosive Material Monitoring; Rocket Motor Health Management