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Rotor High Speed Imaging System

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a high-speed imaging system synchronized with the rotation of a rotor hub that will allow visualization of a “still” image of the hub and its instrumentation while the rotor is spinning and with the ability to control the rotational position of the hub as it is displayed in the “still” image.

 

DESCRIPTION: Reduction in Lost Test Time (LTT) through application of new health monitoring capability for rotorcraft testing. NFAC rotorcraft tests utilize hundreds of research data signals and rely on real time health monitoring to ensure safe operations. Much of the instrumentation used for health monitoring is mounted in the rotating frame. Cables transfer the analog signals to the fixed frame through a slip ring. There are often multiple wire harnesses and connector unions near the root end of each rotor blade that are tied off and secured to the rotor hub to prevent centrifugal forces and vibrations from fatiguing the wires to failure. Despite substantial efforts to secure wires pre-test, the likelihood of repair work at some point during a test is high. There is currently no way to detect the onset of a failure in real time until a signal becomes intermittent or is lost, which means damage has already been experienced and LTT is incurred. A high-speed imaging system synchronized with the rotation of a rotor hub that will allow the test team to visualize a “still” image of the hub and its instrumentation while the rotor is spinning with the ability to control the rotational position of the hub shown in the “still” image. This capability would provide visualization of wiring issues before more significant damage occurs.

 

PHASE I: Awardee(s) will develop a proof of principle design concept that satisfies the aforementioned requirements based upon research of current methodologies and COTS components to conceptualize a prototype system. Identify potential high technical risk elements through analysis or empirical demonstration and assess potential points of failure and uncertainty of the measurement. If possible, awardee(s) will demonstrate the feasibility of the approach in a laboratory environment.

 

PHASE II: Awardee(s) will develop a prototype system that meets the listed requirements, demonstrate the performance in a relevant environment and provide an appropriately ruggedized protype appropriate for permanent installation in the NFAC facility. Awardee(s) will assist NFAC personnel in fully integrating the system into existing NFAC video system that allows system control and image display in the NFAC control room.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This system technology could have applications for rotor system visualization in other ground-testing or flight-testing environments. At NFAC, this type of system could evolve from a health monitoring system to a data acquisition system depending on the research objectives of a test entry.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. "Deformation Measurements of Helicopter Rotor Blades Using a Photogrammetric System”. Chenglin Zuo *, Jun Ma, Chunhua Wei, Tingrui Yue and Jin Son.

 

KEYWORDS: high speed photography; rotor hub; rotor system

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