Point of Use Oil Quality Analysis
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The maintenance of vehicle and support systems is of key importance in Army operations. However, determination of the correct time to perform changes of hydraulic fluids is currently inexact and can be expensive. If fluids are changed too late, significant damage to equipment can occur while if fluids are changed too early, wasted effort a disposal costs are incurred. Determination of fluid health and remaining useful life presently depends on labor intensive, protocol dependent techniques. Makel Engineering, Inc. proposes the development of a microsensor based system to provide continuous in-situ monitoring of hydraulic fluids and automated book keeping by way of bar code scanning of vehicle hood numbers or wireless telemetry and the storage of vehicle and fluid data in a suitable database.
The envisioned system will incorporate sensors produced using MEMS and thick film processing techniques and these sensors will be robust, low cost units capable of directly monitoring fluid parameters of interest such as viscosity, conductivity, TAN/TBN, various contaminants, pressure, and temperature. The sensors would be mounted on a dipstick or drain plug and interface with engine control electronics or portable monitoring equipment to improve maintenance procedures. In the case of a portable diagnostic system, the sensors would be incorporated onto a "smart dipstick" and vehicle information would be obtained by a simple bar code scanner incorporated into a handheld computer. In the case of a monitoring system integrated with vehicle control systems, data could be logged continuously and uploaded wirelessly to a main database of vehicle information.
Small Business Information at Submission:
MAKEL ENGINEERING, INC.
1585 Marauder St. Chico, CA 95973
Number of Employees: