Airborne Icing Measurement System 

AIMS is a small optical based sensor that measures the liquid water content, drop size, density and phase of clouds. The innovation is a new capability for measuring cloud properties in-flight. Low power infrared lasers illuminate the interior of the cloud and the resulting backscattered signal is analyzed in real-time to determine cloud properties. Using serial communications, the cloud property data is saved to an on-board data logger and can be transmitted to a ground station via RF link.

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Shape Memory Alloy Deicer

The SMA Deicer uses cutting edge technology to autonomously detect and remove ice from helicopter blades. This deicer provides an efficient solution for rotorcraft applications providing superior erosion resistance. The deicer is made from a durable Nickel Titanium alloy that has the ability to change shape when subjected to an appropriate temperature change. The deicing action is analogous to a conventional thermal expansion except that it is enhanced to the levels needed to remove ice. It can be activated by electrical current or can be passively powered from heat transfer energy due to the formation of the ice itself. Material processing techniques developed at IDI have produced unique SMA material configurations capable of satisfying rotorcraft deicer performance requirements. Energy estimates indicate substantial savings over existing electro-thermally powered deice systems, with much improved durability and erosion resistance. This work was funded by the NASA Glenn SBIR program.

Low Cost Wind Sensor

Under an Army SBIR, IDI is developing a compact laser based crosswind sensor for incorporation into shoulder fired weapon systems. A ballistic firing solution must take into account variability of the wind. Current anemometers solutions are expensive, large, heavy, and consume too much power for small arms applications. The optical sensor has an advantage over conventional anemometers of being able to detect crosswinds even when behind cover, and at very low cost using all semiconductor integrated VLSI technology.

Acoustic Wiring Diagnostic System

This system uses piezoelectric sensors to listen for wire chafing and arcing events without removing or disconnecting the wires under evaluation. It operates continuously in-flight so that intermittent wiring fault conditions can be detected as they happen. Noise generated by the chafing event is statistically related to structural vibrations, and the chafing source located through signal correlation techniques. Trend analysis data is logged to enable pro-active maintenance prior to catastrophic failure. Flight ready hardware and software was developed and flight tested on an H-53 helicopter.

AR Wiring Inspection System

IDI is developing an Augmented Reality based wiring maintenance tool to quickly identify non-conformances in harness routings. Our solution incorporates multiple sensors including lidar to locate and inspect individual wire harness elements for structural anomalies. This AR tool will support Navy efforts, from production installation to depot maintenance, that require inspection of thousands of wires.

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