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Wireless Interface to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Invocon, Inc.
19221 IH-45 South; Ste. 530 Conroe, TX -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Wireless Interface to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68335-01-C-0240
Award Amount: $69,932.00


Proposed is a study of incorporation of aircraft incident recorders and Structural Data Recorder Systems (SDRS) into an open architecture wireless network. This Enhanced Crash Survivable Flight Incident Recorder (ECSFIR) will improve flight safety byproviding better information to accident investigators and reduce aircraft maintenance costs by improving diagnostics and automating maintenance schedules. Invocon will conduct comprehensive investigations into the ECSFIR system expectations and technicalrequirements. Consideration will be given to the incorporation of microminiature wireless sensors similar to those previously developed by Invocon. Programmable Surface Acoustic Wave (PSAW) correlators are under investigation by a team including Invocon,Sandia National Laboratories, NASA, and the Air Force Research Lab; in the ECSFIR, they will provide simultaneous RF communications giving the RF data bus extremely high-speed and reliable transmissions. The system will have an open architecture forfuture expansion and portability between aircraft. Invocon will provide at the Phase I conclusion a report detailing conceptual designs and configuration structures for all ECSFIR elements. Invocon proposes a Phase I Option to demonstrate a prototypewireless ECSFIR aboard a Naval Aircraft. This system will perform most of the major proposed requirements and provide a proof of concept and predetermination of some Phase II obstacles.Commercial airlines are always seeking ways to reduce costs and increase safety. It is likely that the reduction in aircraft maintenance costs alone will demand a system like the proposed ECSFIR. But the market for this type of system extends far outsidethe aviation industry. In any setting where machinery performance is essential, and failure induced stoppage greatly affects profit, a health maintenance system is imperative and cost effective. Commercial equipment from all types of industry couldbenefit from component monitoring and performance evaluation: oilrigs, tractor-trailers, locomotives, and industrial equipment. A wireless health monitor like the proposed ECSFIR provides two major benefits over current monitoring systems: convenientretrofitting and acquisition from previously inaccessible areas. Often equipment is designed with unknown weaknesses, and the built-in sensors do not monitor all the critical components. Retrofitting with current wired sensors is not cost efficient, andat times impossible. A wireless system allows quick non-intrusive installation on any component. The incorporation of the microminiature wireless sensors adds one more way to reduce installation complexity and costs. In addition the ability of remoteprocessing paves the way for real-time health monitoring and operator warning notification of potential failures or the end of the life-cycle approaching.

Principal Investigator:

Alan Haigood
Program Director

Business Contact:

Mary Pate
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

19221 IH-45 South; Ste. 530 Conroe, TX 77385

EIN/Tax ID: 760315372
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No