Autonomous MHK Monitoring System for Intelligent Converter Health Management

Period of Performance: 06/08/2015 - 03/07/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Marine and hydrokinetic MHK) energy converters are generally located in remote, harsh environments where access is limited and maintenance is a costly and labor intensive process. Lack of real-time information on the status of the components in the system prevents condition- based maintenance activities, thus requiring a preemptory maintenance schedule. This creates a deficiency of information on failures and in turn impedes future design efforts. Luna proposes to extend the capabilities of its existing embedded health monitoring platform in conjunction with advanced prognostic algorithms to provide real-time assessments of MHK converter system health. Knowledge of component degradation combined with information on operating environment parameters allow for prognostic assessments of remaining useful life, permitting predictive maintenance activities to be performed on an as-needed basis. The proposed technology will result in a marketable health monitoring product that can be integrated into existing and future MHK systems. The system provides comprehensive characterizations of the structural stresses throughout the MHK system lifecycle, comprising of development, testing, towing, installation, lifting and normal operation. The information gathered by the monitoring tool can be used by manufacturers and maintainers to monitor system health and respond to upset conditions or impending structural faults based on measured or predicted health states. Further, the information can be used to validate design and development models providing evidence of deficient points in the system and conversely overbuilt sections can be identified allowing manufacturers to locate components in which material and cost can be removed.