Prognostic Health Management (PHM) of Electromechanical Actuation (EMA) Systems for Next-Generation Military Aircraft

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Qualtech Systems, Inc.
99 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Sudipto Ghoshal
 Vice President Engineerin
 (860) 761-9341
Business Contact
 Marta Olenick
Title: Finance Manager
Phone: (860) 761-9342
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Electromechanical Actuation (EMA) systems are becoming preferred choice in aircraft applications owing to their response time, power consumption, heat load, peak power, and weight related advantages. However, employing EMAs in critical flight control applications demands reliability assurance and capability to predict failures ahead of time. Through the Phase-I effort, Qualtech Systems, Inc. (QSI) in collaboration with Lockheed Martin Corp., and Moog Inc. developed a proof-of-concept hybrid EMA PHM scheme for real-time (and offline) detection, identification, and diagnosis of faults and degradations, their level/severity estimation, and forecasting. The Phase-II effort is geared towards advancing the EMA PHM technology to a deployment-ready state through stages of test-rig demonstration and field-validation. The PHM technology will be implemented and packaged into software by using QSI"s TEAMS toolset for design and analysis of health management systems. The technology will be demonstrated for (a) real-time application by embedding on an EMA controller, and (b) post-mission PHM decision-making. EMAs used in K-Max Remotely Piloted Helicopter and Marlin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle are the candidates target systems for this effort. The goal of the demonstration is to verify and validate the performance, usability, and maturity of the PHM technology and set off the deployment and commercialization drive. BENEFIT: The PHM scheme will provide a means to monitor and assess health conditions of EMAs facilitating detection, identification, level estimation of faults and degradations, and their forecasting. These capabilities are crucial for acceptance of a relatively new engineering system in safety and performance critical applications, such as control surface actuations in aviation, space, and underwater vehicular platforms. The PHM technology developed through this effort will be implemented using QSI"s TEAMS (Testability Engineering and Maintenance System) software toolset. TEAMS hosts a wealth of design and analytic capabilities applicable to fault detection and diagnosis, diagnostic performance assessment, maintenance support and troubleshooting. The TEAMS-based EMA PHM software, on one hand, will be able to leverage these inbuilt capabilities, and on the other hand, will enjoy shorter maturation period owing to the maturity of the host platform. While the primary target application area of this PHM technology is EMAs on military air platform, it is likely to find a wide range of commercial applications. Small unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) heavily depend on EMAs, and they are being widely used in off-shore oil and gas exploration and mining applications. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is another type of platform where EMAs are finding wide-scale use. Today, RPAs are being increasingly inducted into civilian surveillance and monitoring applications. EMAs are also finding way in transport and passenger aircraft (e.g., Boeing 787, and Airbus 380). Having an EMA PHM software will improve the safety and reduce the EMA related downtime in all these sectors.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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