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Hybrid State-Detection System for Gearbox Components

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-13-C-0417
Agency Tracking Number: N12A-007-0135
Amount: $749,979.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N12A-T007
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-09-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-06-15
Small Business Information
205 Portland St 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
United States
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Seth Kessler
 (617) 447-2172
Business Contact
 Seth Kessler
Title: President/CEO
Phone: (617) 447-2172
Research Institution
 University of Illinois at Chicago
 Didem O Ozevin, PhD
Department of Civil and Materi 842 W. Taylor St, 3073 ERF
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

 (312) 413-3051
 Nonprofit College or University

This STTR aims to develop a novel method for detecting and tracking growth of cracks in rotorcraft gearbox. Aerospace structures are subject to dynamic loading. In particular, gearbox components experience continuous cyclic loading, wear and eventually develop fatigue cracks. As opposed to most other aircraft components, gearbox components are non-redundant, so a failure can have catastrophic consequences. Gearbox members are typically magnesium, aluminum or high-strength steel that exhibit high fracture toughness, but are brittle, making them susceptible to fatigue. Gearbox safety can be ensured via real-time detection methods. Accurate diagnosis and prognosis of gearbox health state can reduce maintenance schedules, and component life may be extended, which lead to significant cost reduction. This program focuses on the development of a gearbox PHM system for early crack detection. The system is hybrid in nature, relying on signal processing of passively acquired acoustic energy, however in this case the wave energy is in response to an embedded ultrasonic array. In this way, measurements can be taken on the ground without the vehicle in operation, and without a costly disassembly. Model-augmented pattern recognition techniques are used to characterize an accurate real-time state of health for the gearbox.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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