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Hybrid Slip Ring


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber OBJECTIVE: Develop, validate, and produce a through-bore slip ring capsule, fully contained within a defined physical space envelope, containing conventional slip rings for power, a bi-directional fiber optic rotary joint, and a high pressure gas rotary joint, all of which simultaneously operate at sustained high rotational speed and high gas pressure. The slip ring capsule must demonstrate a long mean-time-between-failure (MTBF). DESCRIPTION: Conventional brush-ring slip ring capsules play a critical role in hardware-in-the-loop missile and gyro systems testing. While unit under test is rotating at high rates, power and high pressure gas must be supplied, and bi-directional high speed digital data must be provided. DoD is facing serious challenges of providing a path for future test and evaluation and to the continuity of current operations. U.S. based manufacturing is being acquired by overseas competitors and quickly losing the capability to produce reliable conventional sip ring capsules containing a through bore while operating at high rotational speeds. Further, advancements in missile and gyro systems technology require high speed digital data rates not currently obtainable with conventional slip ring capsule. The technological advancement of providing a through-bore slip ring capsule operated at high rotational rates containing conventional and fiber optic circuits with integrated high pressure gas conduit in a single capsule within physical space constraints would be a large breakthrough in slip capsule technology. The desired slip ring capsule will contain at a minimum the following attributes, 12 conventional shielded power circuits rated for 5 amps at 60 VDC; 4 conventional shielded power circuits rated for 2 amps at 200 VDC; one bi-directional single-mode fiber optic circuit with less than 2dB loss @ 25 rotations per second; 1 high pressure rotary gas joint, rated at greater than 3500 PSI; the ability to sustain 25 rotations per second; a rotational lifespan of greater than 30 million revolutions; a form factor compatible with existing equipment (less than 2.9” diameter, greater than 0.2” through-bore, less than 10.2” length). PHASE I: Determine a feasible approach of developing a slip ring capsule with the specifications mentioned above. No government facility or materials or data is required for this program nor will it be provided. Demonstrate the proposed capsule’s ability to meet technical specifications without failure. In particular, address capsule through-bore, bi-directional fiber optic rotary joint performance, high pressure gas rotary joint performance, conventional circuit performance, all simultaneously at sustained high rotational speeds. PHASE II: Build a prototype from designs proven in phase 1. Evaluate the prototype’s ability to achieve given requirements and provide an estimate of product operational life before repair is required. Required deliverables will include results of stress tests to show prototype meets the required conventional and fiber optic, high speed digital data, rotational speed, and gas pressure requirements simultaneously. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military applications include robust environment data acquisition equipment and advanced aircraft and guided systems T&E. Commercial benefits include advanced drilling machinery, wind turbines, medical equipment, rotating tanks (fluid dynamic experimental equipment), satellite systems, and manufacturing & machine tooling. REFERENCES: 1. Moflon, Three Important Facts About How A Slip Ring Functions, https: //; 2. R. Taylor, What is a Rotary Union and How Can It Be Sealed Effectively?, https: //; 3. Princetel, TUTORIAL Fiber optic rotary joints, http: // KEYWORDS: high speed slip ring; high speed rotary joint; high speed rotary union; rotary gas joint; rotary fluid joint; fiber-optic rotary joint
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