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-2978
Agency Tracking Number: F083-104-1979
Amount: $99,838.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-104
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
1132 107th Street, Arlington, TX, 76011
DUNS: 787380794
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Tooley
 Senior Device Engineer
 (817) 633-1080
Business Contact
 Khoa Nguyen
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (817) 633-1080
Email: brenda.temple@semisouth.com
Research Institution
Currently, Air Force aircraft engines rely heavily on Centralized engine Control System (CCS) architectures. These architectures consist of a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) module that is hard-wired to sensors and actuators. As a result, new control and sensing technology is slowly adopted within aircraft engines, and when these adoptions are made the overhaul cost is high. Additionally, the FADEC is often unable to pinpoint sensor, actuator, and engine component faults, and does not provide the ability for sensors to calibrate themselves in response to environmental (in particular temperature) conditions. DIMSens provides the Air Force with a device that is able to withstand aircraft engine environments, network with various sensors, actuators, and controllers, and interface with various sensor modalities and technologies. To accomplish this DIMSens will utilize a standardized data bus, open communication protocols, incorporate sensor electronic data sheets, and provide the required environmental barrier between the sensor and DIMSens electronics. DIMSens will be capable of interfacing with any device that utilizes the same data bus as it uses, and either pre-processed or processed sensor data is accessible from it via a set of open commands. IEEE 1451 sensors will be supported by DIMSens.   BENEFIT: DIMSens is expected to reduce aircraft costs in several different ways. First, DIMSens will enable new control and sensor technology, which usually reduces aircraft weight, increases engine efficiency, and/or has some other tangible aircraft cost benefit, to be readily adopted into aircraft engine designs, thereby hastening the realization of operating cost reductions and obviating the need for expensive aircraft FADEC overhauls. Second, since DIMSens digitizes and processes raw sensor data before relaying it via the data bus to other devices, the amount of wiring amongst devices is significantly reduced. This translates to weight reduction (which results in fuel savings) and decreased integration labor costs. Third, since DIMSens, which includes embedded prognostic and diagnostic tools, will be able to be located closer to monitored components than is currently possible with CCS architectures, DIMSens will be capable of diagnosing system faults (including self-faults) more accurately than the CCS architecture. As a result maintenance time and cost should be reduced.   DIMSens has the potential for wide commercial reach. Any system that requires distributed health monitoring and/or control, especially in extreme environmental conditions, can effectively use DIMSens. DIMSens will initially be targeted at aircraft engine control applications. In the future DIMSens may be integrated into the control systems of ground vehicle engines, industrial processing equipment, energy generation equipment, and construction equipment.

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

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