Very Low Profile Non-Intrusive Data Acquisition Systems for Turbine High Temperature Bearing Sensors

Period of Performance: 01/05/2009 - 05/04/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Arkansas Power Electronics International
535 W. Research Center Blvd., Suite 209
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator


The terminal objective of this Phase II work will be the development of a harsh environment non-intrusive self-powered wireless sensor-transmitter capable of operation to 225 °C and survivable to 300 °C. The developed wireless sensor transmitter will acquire bearing parametric data, such as temperature and vibration information, and wirelessly transmit that data to an engine PHM system. The electrical design will be complimented by a harsh environment, miniaturized packaging approach that will be integrated with the electrical system to provide prototypes that can be tested in a bearing test rig environment. Several Phase II technology demonstration prototypes will be fabricated and fully tested. APEI, Inc. targets the achievement of a technology readiness level (TRL) of 6 at the end of this Phase II. TRL6 will be marked by the successful demonstration of the Phase II prototypes in a rig/engine test environment. BENEFIT: The main objectives of an engine PHM system are: (1) prevent catastrophic failures from occurring by detecting incipient faults, (2) detecting precursor-to-failure trigger points and (3) to collect and analyze system data using realistic and verifiable prognostic models to arrive at a reliability prediction that can be accurately related to the RUL of a part, component, sub-assembly or assembly. The successful implementation of such an engine PHM system will not only significantly increase safety (due to the detection and diagnostics of incipient faults), but also allow the implementation of condition-based maintenance where engine components are replaced based on RUL, not at regular time intervals (i.e., schedule-based maintenance) greatly reducing operational cost. Moreover, the successful implementation of this engine PHM system will allow the gathering of highly accurate real-time engine data that can be used during engine performance optimization or for the development of new engines. The sensing and gathering of highly accurate and reliable engine data is vital for the successful development and deployment of the envisioned engine PHM systems. There is clearly a potentially lucrative market here when one considers the additional high performance applications of aerospace jet and rocket engines, or the high volume market of the automotive industry.