Wiring System In-Situ Health Monitoring Diagnostics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-M-5210
Agency Tracking Number: F041-153-1086
Amount: $99,843.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-153
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
1835 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul, MN, 55108
DUNS: 023797335
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jim Jensen
 Engineering Manager
 (651) 659-6721
Business Contact
 Randy Milbert
Title: Chief Technology Officer
Phone: (651) 659-6762
Email: RMilbert@mnwire.com
Research Institution
Lockheed Martin delivered the first operational F-16 Fighting Falcon to the United States Air Force in January 1979. With more than 10 miles of wiring packed into an aircraft just 49 feet long, the aging F-16 suffers from intermittent power wire failures that pose a significant fire hazard. These failures often occur when a cable's degraded jacket enables a water droplet or metal shaving to temporarily form a conductive bridge between two wires. Frequently misdiagnosed by aircraft maintenance personnel, these wet and dry arcs lead to the unnecessary and costly insertion of line replacement units (LRUs) into the maintenance supply chain. To address this problem, Minnesota Defense partnered with Lockheed Martin and the University of Utah to develop and demonstrate a rugged, compact Smart Connector prototype for in-situ detection and isolation of wet and dry arcs on energized aircraft power wires. The Smart Connector uses a spread spectrum reflectometer (SSR) to inject a pseudo noise (PN) code into live wires and to record the resulting reflections, a peripheral interface controller (PIC) to analyze the reflectometry data and perform fault detection and isolation, a radio frequency (RF) wireless transmitter to report fault types and locations, and a lithium battery for power. The Smart Connector meets MIL-C-26482 interface and test requirements.

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

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