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High Channel Count Rapidly Rotating Data Acquisition System for Turbine Diagnostics
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (714) 224-4410
Phone: (714) 224-4410
ABSTRACT:In response to the Turbine Research Facility (AFRL) need for a compact, rapid, wide bandwidth, rotating data acquisition system, scalable to high-channel count, SARA, Inc. is proposing to develop an innovative system architecture making use of COTS 24 bit digitizers. We have successfully completed the Phase 1 (feasibility and brassboard) and are presently under contract in Phase 2 (prototype development) with PEO STRI for the development of a similar instrument consisting in a launchable instrumented mortar designed to diagnose the optical properties of ground-to-air High Energy Lasers in flight. The ruggedized design of the system can withstand high g accelerations (tested to 11,000 gs) and is instrumented with 250 on-board optical sensors which are sampled simultaneously during flight for up to six seconds at kilohertz rates. The serialized data is transmitted to ground in a digital format during flight and prior to impact. In the present project, capitalizing on the experiences learned in the development of this system and its proprietary software, we propose to expand its techniques and capabilities, and present a low risk and proven path to the development of a simple, rugged, scalable, high bandwidth DAQ system capable of achieving and exceeding the needed requirements.BENEFIT:The technology developed under this program would result in Improved operational diagnostics and in-situ life-cycle monitoring of critical rotating infrastructure. Aircraft and rotorcraft subsystems (turbines, wings, etc.) are frequently retired and replaced long before their useful life because the processes for identifying long-term component fatigue currently cost more than simply replacing the part long before its utility is exhausted. Improved monitoring processes, aided by an in-situ multi-channel rotating DAQ may enable extended life cycles of aircraft parts, saving tens of thousands of dollars for every thousand dollars invested in a monitoring system. The flight-data recorder industry would also benefit from the development of the proposed technology: compact data-acquisition that can monitor hundreds of channels and survive an airplane crash will add value to forensic reconstruction of aircraft-event failure. Aircraft engine parts and manufacturing is a $181 billion per year industry, encompassing new and replacement engines worldwide. About 80% of the industry is in replacement engines for otherwise serviceable aircraft. Boeing, GE, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Northrop-Grumman, and United Technologies (through Pratt & Whitney) control almost all of this market. All but Rolls-Royce are American companies. A potential in-situ diagnostic capability that could save a modest 5% in fuel costs and diagnose the performance of an engine so that its average end-of-life service increases by 20% would be of immense financial interest: extending the life of the engine saves the industry roughly the same percentage in cost as it does in service lifetime; meaning the industry could save $36B / year in engine replacements, and annual savings in aggregate fuel costs reaching the low billions of dollars.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *