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Wireless Sensor to Monitor Generator Control Unit and Main Power Relay Health


OBJECTIVE: Develop an advanced, non-intrusive wireless sensor to monitor the electrical health of the Generator Control Unit and main power relays on Army rotorcraft platforms. DESCRIPTION: Currently, there is a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to transition the maintenance of weapons systems from time-based to Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). The intent of CBM is to reduce unnecessary maintenance burden, while improving and/or extending component life. The reduction of maintenance and prolonged component life will increase the operational availability of military weapons systems. A large amount of the unnecessary maintenance burden results from false removals of perfectly healthy components. The false removals are costly to the DoD, in the form of replacement parts, maintenance labor, and decreased operational availability of the aircraft. Therefore, to decrease the number of false removals and support the DoD"s initiative to transition to CBM technology, this topic seeks to develop an innovative sensor that monitors the health of a rotorcraft generator control unit (GCU) and main power relays. The GCU has a No Fault Found (NNF) rate greater than 25%, making it a logical target for this sensor technology. The goal of this topic is to develop a sensor that can diagnose GCU and main power relay failures as well as monitor and predict remaining useful life of the GCU. The offeror must consider the diagnosis of all failure modes of a particular GCU (e.g. loss of voltage regulation, loss of overvoltage protection). The desired attributes of the sensor are described herein. In order to avoid the additional weight burden of a wired sensor, the developed sensor must be lightweight and wireless. Also, the sensor must be non-intrusive (cannot alter the GCU or main power relays to avoid the cost, time, and difficulty in validating a modified GCU or main power relays). The sensor may be self-powered or draw minimal power from the GCU. Additional sensor requirements include: operate in a wide range of temperatures (-40 to +140 degrees C), provide diagnostic and prognostic health, contain a self-test, and be capable of storing and wirelessly transmitting data to an on-board Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) as well as transmit data to a hand-held device for non-HUMS equipped aircraft. Other desired attributes to consider for Phase III are (1) impact per Mil-Std 810G, Method 516.6; (2) vibration requirements of Mil-Std 810G, Method 514.6; (3) acceleration per Mil-Std 810G, Method 513.6; (4) altitude per Mil-Std 810G, Method 500.5; (5) rain per Mil-Std 810G, Method 506.5; (6) fungus per Mil-Std 810G, Method 508.6; (7) humidity per Mil-Std 810G, Method 507.5; (8) salt spry/fog per Mil-Std 810G, Method 509.5; (9) sand/dust per Mil-Std 810G, Method 510.5; (10) fluid susceptibility per Mil-Std 810G, Method 504.1; and (11) electromagnetic interference (EMI) per Mil-Std 461F as modified by ADS-37A-PRF Table 1. PHASE I: Design and develop the architecture for the electronic sensor(s) to include its wireless communication configuration. Perform an analysis/bench test that demonstrates the feasibility of the concept electronics. Also, provide data to prove the wireless sensor weighs less than a wired configuration. PHASE II: Develop and fabricate a prototype new sensor(s) and related electronics to demonstrate on a GCU and main power relays via bench test(s). PHASE III: The wireless sensor technology is applicable to both military and commercial GCUs and main power relays (qualified to military standards listed in description) to monitor diagnostic and prognostic component health in real-time. Collaborate with original equipment manufacturers to develop a full production, market ready sensor to be used on rotorcraft GCUs and main power relays. As the technology matures, it can transition to other rotorcraft components for potential commercialization. REFERENCES: 1. Army Aviation Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) Plan, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 29 November 2004. 2. Logistics Transformation Strategy, Department of Defense, 10 December 2004. 3. MIL-STD-810G, DOD Test Method Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests, 31 October 2008. 4. MIL-STD-461F, DOD Interface Standard Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment, 10 December 2007. 5. ASD-37A-PRF, Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) Performance and Verification Requirements, 28 May 1996.
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