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Flexible Integrated Intelligent Network (FIIN) for Prognostics Health Management (PHM) Systems

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this effort is to develop and demonstrate an integrated, robust, flexible, and intelligent PHM network for Army aviation applications.

DESCRIPTION: A FIIN would allow for advanced PHM capabilities that would increase aircraft safety and significantly impact O&S costs associated with aircraft maintenance. This network will provide prognostic and diagnostic capabilities to maintainers and crew members over a reliable and integrated network that enables automated inspections, damage detection, real-time component health, and physical state data for near real-time trend analyses and determination of remaining useful life. The goal is to develop a high bandwidth capacity, low cost network that allows for insertion of future PHM capabilities. The FIIN will be implemented into future Army aircraft, with possible insertion into legacy Army rotorcraft where cost effective. The FIIN should incorporate into Army aircraft without requiring any special installation equipment. In order to transition to Army aviation platforms, the FIIN should have minimal size, weight, and power requirements. The FIIN will be required to meet all current military specifications and future specification should be considered in its development. The rotorcraft of the future, the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of systems and beyond, will require significant improvements above current levels in operational availability, reliability, durability, maintainability, maintenance down time, and operating and support (O&S) costs. A key element of achieving the sustainment vision is an integrated, robust, flexible, and intelligent PHM network. The FVL will operate on an integrated mission system structure. The Joint Common Architecture (JCA) and Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) are being considered for this system structure; developers should consider this when developing their solution. The FIIN will be required to interface with the FVL system structure to enable the sharing of system health information to the aircrew members, the Adaptive Vehicle Management System (AVMS) for flight loads and mission capability data, and to transmit in-flight aircraft health and diagnostic information to ground crews to allow for the prepositioning of assets and maintenance execution when required. To meet these challenges the FIIN will require robustness, flexibility, the ability to reconfigure/self-heal if necessary, network integrity, accuracy and reliability. It will require a machine intelligence and a high degree of automation to ensure that the system continuously provides the physical state and health data for components connected to the FIIN and the ability to determine the proper route for distributing, storing and/or transmitting the data.

PHASE I: The Contractor shall develop and conduct a feasibility and trade-off assessment of a FIIN. The assessment should consider design options for the FIIN architecture. It should address the requirements and technical challenges indicated in the Topic’s description above as well as data types, network composition (copper, fiber-optic and wireless); interface protocols; data transport/distribution; data management; and operational environment, to include vibration, humidity, temperature, and pressure extremes. The product of the Phase I will be a final report that recommends a FIIN architecture to be fully developed and demonstrated on a prototype system.

PHASE II: The Contractor shall design, fabricate, assemble, and demonstrate key elements of the FIIN chosen from the Phase I assessment in a Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL) environment. The FIIN will be evaluated on the level of integration, robustness, flexibility, intelligence, and ability to reconfigure/self-heal to meet future aircraft health assessment requirements and the technical challenges indicated in the topic’s description. The degree of machine intelligence and automation that enables the system to continuously provide the physical state and health data for components connected to the network is of particular importance. The FIIN will also be assessed for its ability to determine the appropriate route for distributing, storing and/or transmitting the data.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The Contractor shall develop a fully operational prototype FIIN for SIL and full-scale rotorcraft ground demonstrations. Transition of this technology could be integrated in a broad range of military/civilian aircraft including future and legacy aircraft.

The resulting technology will facilitate reliable health management of the LRUs connected to it. The health management technology could also apply to components in commercial rotorcraft, to include aeromedical, off-shore & exploration, and general civil aviation.

REFERENCES:

  • ADS -79D- HDBK, Aeronautical Design Standard Handbook, Condition Based Maintenance System for US Army Aircraft, 7 March 2013.
  • Technical Standard, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), Edition 2.1, May 2014.
  • Steven Harrigan, “A Condition-Based Maintenance Solution for Army Helicopters”, The AMMTIAC Quarterly, Volume 4, Number 2(http://ammtiac.alionscience.com/quarterly).
  • DuBois, Thomas; Kinahan, William and Dones, Fernado, Joint Common Architecture (JCA) Recommendations, American Helicopoter Society International, Forum 70 Proceedings, May 2014 (https://vtol.org/store/product/joint-common-architecture-jca-recommendations-9467.cfm).
  • Boydston, Alex; Feller, Peter; Vestal, Steve and Lewis, Bruce; Joint Common Architecture (JCA) Demonstration Architecture Centric Virtual Integration Process (ACVIP) Shadow Effort, AHS international Forum 71 Proceedings, May 2015 (https://vtol.org/store/product/joint-common-architecture-jca-demonstration-architecture-centric-virtual-integration-process-acvip-shadow-effort-10125.cfm)

KEYWORDS: Rotorcraft, Aviation, Health Management, Autonomous Control, Reliability, Sustainment, Network, Prognostics, Diagnostics, Joint Common Architecture (JCA), Airborne Capability Environment (FACE)

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