Autonomous Distributed Plant Monitoring Network
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The proliferation of wireless sensor networks throughout factory environments for applications including process monitoring, control, and machinery condition-based maintenance (CBM) have been evident for some time. Building upon our experience with low-power wireless sensor networks and CBM, Williams-Pyro, Inc., is proposing to develop Wireless Self-powered Prognostic Sensors (WISPS) system, a self-powered, wireless sensor network for condition-based maintenance and machine health monitoring for large rotating equipment. The system will use small sensor nodes, which use innovative energy harvesting technology to eliminate the need for battery replacement. The data collected from these nodes, which includes condition-based monitoring data (e.g., vibration) and machine run-time data, will be stored in a database with maintenance data. These data types will then be fused by advanced diagnostic and prognostic algorithms to perform machine health monitoring. Additionally, the system will generate reports on run-time and remaining health for use in predicting Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). The WISPS system will provide the Air Force with a comprehensive system for condition-based maintenance that eliminates the need to replace batteries in wireless sensors through innovative energy harvesting. This system will reduce maintenance costs and system downtime since planned maintenance is less expensive than unplanned maintenance. BENEFIT: Williams-Pyro believes our WISPS will have the effect of making wireless sensor networks the preferred choice for plant monitoring applications. Coupling this with our condition-based monitoring (CBM) algorithms, WISPS will offer a complete solution, providing the critical information to plant management. The system will learn equipment behavior by fusing CBM data, operational run time data, and maintenance data, allowing maintenance personnel to evaluate performance, predict failure, and develop preventive maintenance programs, which result in reduced downtime, improved operational performance, and reduced cost of ownership. We intend to commercialize WISPS initially on the wireless energy harvesting sensor network-based CBM system. We will consider the market for energy harvesting techniques powering small electronic devices, such as cell phones. Potential industries we may provide the system in whole or in part for include the Oilfield (large equipment), Building Controls industry (medium to small sized equipment), the Medical industry, and Wearable Sensor industry.
Small Business Information at Submission:
200 Greenleaf St. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Number of Employees: