Commercial Controls Technology Insertion
Small Business Information
1132 107th Street, Arlington, TX, -
AbstractABSTRACT: 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. C2DICon provides the Air Force with the capability of a reliable and cost effective communication link for a distributed engine control and sensing nodes within high temperature environments. To accomplish this C2DICon will utilize a standardized data bus and open communication protocol whose software and hardware requirements are sufficiently limited such that cost-effective high temperature integrated circuits can be used to implement the communication architecture. We will study and analyze the effects that both high temperatures have on the communication channel of different distributed engine control and health monitoring topologies, and expected channel delays and packet dropout rates have on the data bus throughput and stability of the distributed network variations. BENEFIT: C2DICon is expected to help reduce aircraft costs in several different ways. First, C2DICon 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, by enabling distributed engine control and health monitoring nodes to communicate digitized and processed (as opposed to analog) sensor data 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 C2DICon will enable distributed engine control and health monitoring nodes to be located closer to monitored components than is currently possible with CCS architectures, system faults can be more accurately diagnosed than in the CCS architecture. As a result maintenance time and cost should be reduced. C2DICon 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 C2DICon. C2DICon will initially be targeted at aircraft engine control applications. In the future C2DICon 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.