Control Surface Buffet Load Measurement

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-09-C-0233
Agency Tracking Number: N091-013-0758
Amount: $79,958.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N091-013
Solicitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
MicroStrain, Inc.
459 Hurricane Lane, Suite 102, Williston, VT, 05495
DUNS: 161852074
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Arms
 President
 (802) 862-6629
 swarms@microstrain.com
Business Contact
 Sarah Lynch
Title: President
Phone: (802) 862-6629
Email: slynch@microstrain.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Structural monitoring of Navy aircraft is of critical importance as the fleet ages. One critical area includes the control surfaces, which are subject to intense, dynamic buffet loading which can lead to structural cracking. The highly transient nature of buffet loading makes it difficult to measure using conventional sensors. We propose to solve this problem by combining a network of time-synchronized wireless load sensors with integrated microelectronics for static and dynamic loads sensing, data recording, communications, and energy harvesting. Our proposed sensors possess major advantages, including: sealed stainless packaging, full calibration prior to installation, rapid installation, and locations which enable a full computation of control surface forces and moments. Embedded firmware at each node will detect when buffet loads occur, and each wireless sensor node will automatically increase its sampling rate for high speed data recording. Data during normal aircraft maneuvers shall also be recorded, at a reduced sample rate. Time stamped, synchronized data will be stored in non-volatile memory and may be downloaded wirelessly at high rates upon receipt of a secure command. The embedded firmware also uses micro-power sleep modes whenever appropriate to enable powering by vibration energy harvesting, which will eliminate the need for battery maintenance.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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