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Wiring System In-Situ Health Monitoring Diagnostics

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Minnesota Wire & Cable Co.
1835 Energy Park Drive Saint Paul, MN 55108-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Wiring System In-Situ Health Monitoring Diagnostics
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-04-M-5210
Award Amount: $99,843.00


Lockheed Martin delivered the first operational F-16 Fighting Falcon to the United States Air Force in January 1979. With more than 10 miles of wiring packed into an aircraft just 49 feet long, the aging F-16 suffers from intermittent power wire failures that pose a significant fire hazard. These failures often occur when a cable's degraded jacket enables a water droplet or metal shaving to temporarily form a conductive bridge between two wires. Frequently misdiagnosed by aircraft maintenance personnel, these wet and dry arcs lead to the unnecessary and costly insertion of line replacement units (LRUs) into the maintenance supply chain. To address this problem, Minnesota Defense partnered with Lockheed Martin and the University of Utah to develop and demonstrate a rugged, compact Smart Connector prototype for in-situ detection and isolation of wet and dry arcs on energized aircraft power wires. The Smart Connector uses a spread spectrum reflectometer (SSR) to inject a pseudo noise (PN) code into live wires and to record the resulting reflections, a peripheral interface controller (PIC) to analyze the reflectometry data and perform fault detection and isolation, a radio frequency (RF) wireless transmitter to report fault types and locations, and a lithium battery for power. The Smart Connector meets MIL-C-26482 interface and test requirements.

Principal Investigator:

Jim Jensen
Engineering Manager

Business Contact:

Randy Milbert
Chief Technology Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

1835 Energy Park Drive St. Paul, MN 55108

EIN/Tax ID: 410985588
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No