Blade Vibration Measurement System for Turbine Engines

Period of Performance: 10/05/2010 - 10/04/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mechanical Solutions, Inc.
11 Apollo Drive Array
Whippany, NJ 07981
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: This proposal describes hot section radar sensors and data processing algorithms that address the technology gap between NSMS and strain gage vibration surveys. The radar-based approach provides data that can be processed in the time and frequency domains to accurately track blade vibration down to very low levels. With this new capability to directly measure blade vibration frequency, the work in this project becomes the enabling technology for a hybrid NSMS system. The hybrid NSMS relies on existing NSMS measurements of turbine blade vibration amplitude and extends that capability with direct frequency measurements from the radar system. The work in this project will be planned, performed, and reviewed in close cooperation with the Propulsion Instrumentation Working Group (PIWG) and its member companies. This lays the groundwork for a transition path for this technology, establishing a modular upgrade to existing turbine NSMS systems in use by gas turbine manufacturers and government turbine test facilities. BENEFIT: Improvements in blade health monitoring capability will significantly reduce the cost and risk of development and operation of military and commercial gas turbine engines, industrial steam turbines used for power generation, as well as many types of industrial compressors and expanders. The costs associated with maintenance, downtime, and readiness are already well established and understood by both military and industrial users. The technology plan has been developed to allow a smooth transition, as an add-on module to existing systems. This leverages the existing NSMS infrastructure, and removes some potential barriers to technology transition. By designing the system to meet the requirements of the PIWG community, demonstrating the improvement to existing NSMS systems in that community, and validating the system with laboratory and engine tests, Mechanical Solutions is confident that a successful technology transition will occur.