Rotary Wing Dynamic Component Structural Life Tracking with Self-Powered Wireless Sensors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-13-C-0179
Agency Tracking Number: N081-006-0524a
Amount: $499,980.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-006
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
KCF Technologies, Inc
336 South Fraser Street, State College, PA, -
DUNS: 005051219
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jacob Loverich
 VP of Research and Develo
 (814) 867-4097
Business Contact
 Jeremy Frank
Title: President
Phone: (814) 867-4097
Research Institution
The embedded rotor load monitoring system developed under this SBIR project principally consists of Smart Rod Ends and a wireless base station. The Smart Rod Ends are conventional push rod ends that have an energy harvester powered wireless sensor system built into the shank of the rod end. The base station connects to a Prognostic and Health Monitoring Unit (PHMU) located within the existing HUMS Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring Unit (IVHMU). The Smart Rod End does not require any other modification of the rotor assembly or HUMS and it provides fully autonomous functionality because it harvests energy locally at the rod end to power the sensor system. Robust Radio Frequency (RF) communication is used to transmit the load data from the rod ends to the wireless base station. Pitch link loads monitoring and complimentary rotor loads models provide identification and quantification of structural damage to key rotor components leading to accurate evaluation of remaining useful life. Component inspections and replacement can then be triggered on condition rather than by calculated life and costly periodic inspections. On condition inspection and replacement will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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