SBIR-STTR-Success: Sentient Science
Sentient may be busy digitizing 35% of the world’s wind turbine models and tending to its customer base of over 40,000 wind turbines in the energy field, but the Buffalo-based small business actually has very humble roots that began in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
In the early 2000s, the Department of Defense sought a way to predict the remaining useful life of critical parts on aircraft. They thought that if a prognostics and health management (PHM) technology could be developed, it would drastically reduce maintenance costs for military aircraft while simultaneously improving safety. Sentient provided the solution, and has been an active innovator in the SBIR program ever since.
Sentient’s flagship product is its DigitalClone software. DigitalClone predicts the short and long-term failure rates of mechanical systems like wind turbines, rotorcraft & rail to identify life extension actions that reduce costs. During its journey through the program, Sentient realized the vast applicability of such a technology. The company soon began applying its PHM technology to customers in the wind industry and partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) in the process.
DigitalClone Live Software as a service is an evolution of their flagship product, and it applies materials science and physics-based monitoring to simulate when cracks initiate in the microstructure of critical components and major systems of rotating mechanical equipment.