Vibration Analysis of Rotating Plant Machinery

Period of Performance: 04/16/2008 - 01/16/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Streamline Automation, LLC
3100 Fresh Way SW Array
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator


The AEDC Engine Test Facility (ETF) has more than 20 test cells that can be used for testing prototype propulsion systems and components. A variety of rotating machinery, including compressors and pumps, is crucial to wind tunnel operations. The unplanned failure of a major component can have a major impact on testing schedules. As such, there is significant motivation to avoid unplanned outages caused by equipment failure, in particular failures that require significant time and effort to recover from. Therefore, AEDC requires a vibration-based machinery condition analysis system for plant rotating machinery that can provide early indication of machinery and bearing wear, and accurate predictions of time to failure that enable major maintenance operations to be planned well in advance. A vibration-based machinery condition analysis system will be developed using a combination of existing accelerometers and acoustic transducers. These enable high-frequency (several times rotational frequency) vibration information to be extracted. The captured data will be archived and used to develop trends over time. An expert system will be developed to analyze the data to screen out normal readings and to aid plant personnel in identifying areas of concern. The system will also be developed to estimate the time remaining until components will need to be replaced in order to allow planning of maintenance outages.