Distributed Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) Workload Reduction Through Standardization of Intelligent Fault Tolerant Sensing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2976
Agency Tracking Number: F083-104-0303
Amount: $99,335.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-104
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
Impact Technologies, LLC
200 Canal View Blvd, Rochester, NY, 14623
DUNS: 073955507
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Carl A Palmer
 Program Manager, Sensor T
 (585) 424-1990
Business Contact
 Mark Redding
Title: Director, Contracts and P
Phone: (585) 424-1990
Email: mjames@i-a-i.com
Research Institution
A significant barrier to the realization of a fully distributed control system is the availability of reliable smart transducers that can both communicate data to the FADEC through a network and be capable of fault tolerance and self-validation.  In this Phase I project, Impact Technologies, in collaboration with GE Global Research, will develop a generic Fault-Tolerant Intelligent Sensor (FTIS) node and apply the device to an emergent Silicon Carbide-based combustion Flame Temperature Sensor developed by GE.  The FTIS will include integral health management and state-awareness functions that will provide robustness to sensor hardware degradation or faults.  The FTIS will include: i) signal validation, ii) self-calibration to adjust for sensor drifts, iii) fault-detection, isolation, and accommodation, and iv) a sensor fusion process that will communicate a group of validated soft sensor data to the FADEC.  The developed firmware will be deployed on scalable hardware that will require minimal reconfiguration when transferred to different sensor types.  The FTIS technology will enable the realization of a fully distributed control system, thereby alleviating the severe system limitations of centralized architectures such as: large weight imposition, limited design flexibility, and life cycle cost burdens associated with obsolescence management. BENEFIT: The weight and acquisition cost of modern-day FADEC systems can be as high as 20% of the system totals, which have negative impacts on aircraft performance and total life cycle cost.  Moreover, incorporation of novel sensor elements, such as combustor Flame Temperature Sensors, into existing engine systems requires a complete recertification of the centralized FADEC and a substantially increased cost and development time.  As a standardized node in a fully-distributed engine control paradigm, the FTIS technology will ameliorate these significant barriers to their application.  As an outcome of Phase III commercial transition, the smart node technology will be implemented in sensors that reside in the most hostile locations within the engine.  The potential military and dual-use applications for this FTIS node technology are numerous.  The F-35 JSF, the VAATE program, and legacy fighter aircraft all stand to benefit from fully distributed, standardized smart nodes, as will civilian aircraft engines.  This technology will also benefit the automotive, power generation and manufacturing industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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