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Jackson, Enrique
Interdisciplinary Materials Science

Research Information

Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Materials Science

Title: Embedded Structural Health Monitoring Sensory Network for Damage Characterization
NASA Center: Marshall Space Flight Center

Ph.D. Thesis Advisor
:  Paul Laibinis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Areas of Interests: Light weight materials and structural concepts; technologies that would enable new applications of flight; game-changing flight vehicle concepts; instrumentation/measurement technology/test techniques for aeronautics

Summary:  Lightweight structural concepts are necessary to meet future mission needs in space transportation, in space, and planetary surface systems, and for future generations of efficient aeronautical systems. Low mass is extremely important for in-space and planetary systems because payload mass sizes launch vehicles. These systems will result from innovative structural geometries enabled by new material systems and their cost-effective manufacture. Moreover, the development of understanding of lightweight structural mechanics is necessary for their design, certification, and sustainment. Composite structures will play an important role in developing lightweight design because of their tailorability to specific requirements and variety of manufacturing processes.  However, these structures are subject to macro and micro impacts (structural flaws barely visible and invisible), delaminations, and disbonding that may compromise their load bearing capability. Such structural flaws may lead to a catastrophic failure resulting in the loss of hardware or worse the loss of life. A light-weight Structure Health Monitoring (SHM) sensory network system is needed to enable the integrity of the complex damage.  SHM sensory systems will be required in every phase of their Design, Development, Test and Evaluation (DDT&E), manufacturing, and service life of the space vehicle which can augment traditional Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) or Evaluation (NDE) for innovative ways to detect damage location and assessment.

Objectives:  The objective of this research is to mitigate risk associated with the use of carbon composite structures by developing a low-cost, light-weight integrated SHM sensory system which can locate, and characterize impact damage.  Additionally, the objective is to provide guidance to NDE inspectors that will enable them to quickly find areas of interest on large composite structures and provide monitoring for inaccessible structural locations.

Justification:   Risk to a multi-billion dollar space launch systems components designed and fabricated using carbon composites can be mitigated by correctly applying a Polarizing-Maintaining Fiber Bragg Gratings (PM-FBGs) SHM sensory system. The system will serve to monitor the structure from cradle to launch pad by locating and quantifying impact and other damage. It will also augment NDE inspection by serving as a primary inspection system. The SHM system can decrease many man-hours from technicians who must inspect every square inch of a structure to maintain structural integrity.  The sensory system can monitor load bearing structures that are not accessible with traditional inspection methods, because it will be manufactured into the structure.It would be beneficial for NASA to use composites in their design and construction of space launch system components because of composites higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum alloys.  However, composite structures are subject to impact damage, causing fiber breakage, delamination, disbonds, and debonds. These structural defects can compromise a component’s structural integrity that may lead to a failure while in service. An integrated SHM sensory system can help mitigate this risk-to-life and hardware failure by detecting and locating damaged areas. Furthermore, it can augment traditional NDE inspection—and in some cases, replace it where traditional NDE techniques cannot be performed because of limited access or where probing sources cannot penetrate thick overlapping joints. A well integrated SHM system can benefit many composite structures such as those used in the U.S. Air Force’s F22, F35, or F17 vehicles. Similarly, rotary blades from the U.S. Army helicopters and even rocket casings can benefit from the proposed monitoring application. MSFC has expertise in the development and application of FBG sensors for SHM systems. Applying PM-FBG will enhance MSFC’s overall standing in applying wavelength divisible Bragg gratings and help it to become a center of excellence in FBG application.  North Carolina State University has strong expertise in computational methods for structural health monitoring, and will conduct finite element model development, signal processing and damage diagnosis, optimization of sensor layout, and uncertainty and risk analysis.


Selected Publications

Effects of Te Inclusions on the Performance of CdZnTe Radiation Detectors. Bolotnikov, AE; Abdul-Jabbar, NM; Babalola, OS; Camarda, GS; Cui, Y; Hossain, AM; Jackson, EM; Jackson, HC; James, JA; Kohman, KT; Luryi, AL; James, RB, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, 55, 2757-2764 , (2008)

Ferromagnetic properties of epitaxial manganite films on SrTiO3/Si heterostructures. Pradhan, AK; Dadson, JB; Hunter, D; Zhang, K; Mohanty, S; Jackson, EM; Lasley-Hunter, B; Lord, K; Williams, TM; Rakhimov, RR; Zhang, J; Sellmyer, DJ; Inaba, K; Hasegawa, T; Mathews, S; Joseph, B; Sekhar, BR; Roy, UN; Cui, Y; Burger, A, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 100, 033903 , (2006)


Vanderbilt University