Autonomous Nonbattery Wireless Strain Gage for Structural Health Testing and Monitoring in Extreme Environments

Period of Performance: 12/16/2010 - 12/16/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Syntonics LLC
9160 Red Branch Road Array
Columbia, MD 21045
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

The Ohio State University
1330 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: In Phase II, Syntonics will develop an advanced wireless strain measurement system for structural health monitoring. The system will be configured with a number of passive, non-battery power strain sensors communicating wirelessly with an interrogating device mounted external to the engine under test. The goal is the development of designs and manufacturing processes able to reliably produce sensors to measure high frequency dynamic strain at temperatures to 300 C and the equipment to operate them in a realistic environment. The important result of this Phase II is the development of a system enabling condition-based maintenance of rotating equipment through direct measurement in hostile environments at extreme temperatures. The objective for dozens of high data rate strain sensors communicating dynamic strain from within the rotating, high temperature environment of the engine is a valuable capability enabling cost effective testing with significant cost savings. Present technology necessitates thousands of labor hours to install resistive strain gages that must be meticulously wired through complex cavities and unreliable slip rings. The usual result of the current method is failure of the wiring due to the environmental stresses. The cost savings to the government by elimination of the wiring may is significant. BENEFIT: There is a broad and pervasive need across DoD and Industry for passive wireless sensor systems that enable condition-based maintenance. The initial DoD market may be with AFRL for its propulsion testing program, but every service has vehicular and aircraft maintenance requirements that can benefit from an easily implemented wireless sensing system supporting condition based maintenance. The initial military market is significant: Many fighter jets deployed today would benefit by periodically monitoring engine condition which can be accomplished by selectivity reading strain and/or vibration, Large cargo and transport jets continue to operate beyond their original design life which increases the pressure to enhance maintenance without increasing cost. Industrial and shipboard applications (e.g., power production, water processing, manufacturing process control, etc.) are highly sensitive to cost and system reliability, making them ideal candidates for the improved economics of condition-based maintenance enabled by this technology. An affordable, deployable, wireless sensing system should rapidly capture a large market share.