Innovative Unified Damage Mechanisms-Based Model to Predict Remaining Useful Life for Rotorcraft Structures

Period of Performance: 09/09/2014 - 04/09/2015


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Safe, Inc.
5032 S. Ash Avenue, Ste. 101 Array
Tempe, AZ 85282
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Memphis
315 Administration Bldg.
Memphis, TN 38152
Institution POC


A model for structural health measurement is desired that is capable of assessing the accumulated damage and remaining useful life of components post-flight. This model will eliminate the need for load tracking during flight and prevent the additional weight and complexity of components utilized during flight. Safe is partnering with researchers at University of Memphis for this work to relate the current level of accumulated damage in a component/s to the remaining useful life of the component/s. There are multiple technologies available for measuring the amount of accumulated damage in a component, such as acoustic emissions, surface temperature, ultrasound, and electromagnetic readings. Safe s research partners at University of Memphis have demonstrated that acoustic emission technology provides the clearest signal transmission when a damage event occurs. They have established a data-enabled approach to quantify random damage of materials and structures by constructing a measurable multi-variate. This variate can be analyzed by means of mathematical statistics, allowing for data-enabled decision-making concerning material failure. The proposed program will expand the applicability of the already developed model to include additional materials of interest concerning military rotorcraft, as well as refine the model/s to include additional geometries (current models are limited to laboratory samples.)