Passive, Wireless Sensors for Turbine Engine Airfoils
A critical need exists for miniature, passive, wireless sensors that can be placed on rotating parts within aircraft turbine engines to perform health monitoring of key components. To meet these needs, this SBIR Phase II project focuses on developing and field testing a passive, wireless microwave acoustic sensor system for turbine engines, capable of monitoring temperature and pressure on rotating parts in real-time. During Phase I, Environetix Technologies Corporation demonstrated the performance of prototype wireless microwave acoustic temperature sensors in a high temperature lab environment, including demonstration of stable operation at to 1200F. The sensor system is based on University of Maine patented technology, consisting of microwave acoustic devices fabricated using stable high temperature films and substrates and also proprietary sensor attachment methodology, and is licensed to Environetix for further product development and commercialization. This Phase II project will advance a temperature and pressure wireless sensor system into a technology readiness evaluation stage through extensive sensor evaluations in engine test beds on rotating components up to 1200F. The technology will be advanced to the point where negotiations can be made to incorporate the sensor technology into engines for OEMs and industry partners. BENEFIT: The prototype wireless temperature and pressure sensor system developed in this project will consist of wireless, passive, small, multiple-access harsh environment microwave sensors and the associated sensor data acquisitions & signal processing systems for rotating parts in turbine engines. The successful technology demonstration and evaluation in a turbine engine environment during the later stages of Phase II will lead to agreements between Environetix Technologies Corporation and several key partners to deliver the sensors in production scale quantities to meet the immediate USAF needs. This sensor system will provide far reaching benefits for the USAF including allowing increased thrust to weight ratios, decreased fuel consumption and engine validation costs, and material data that could be used by life prediction models for better component health management practices. In addition, OEMs will use this technology for turbine engine and material development, since it provides sensing data not yet available to the turbine engine industry. The importance of this enabling technology goes beyond DoD applications, and will quickly find its way into the commercial aerospace industry, turbine engine testing industry, power industry, and several industrial control processes that operate in harsh environment conditions.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Environetix Technologies Corporation
20 Godfrey Drive Orono, ME -
Number of Employees: