• By Authored by Arms et al., for Australian International Aerospace Congress: 2011
  • Posted Friday, July 24, 2015 - 14:15

Flight Testing of Wireless Sensor Network for Rotorcraft SHUMS
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Synchronized wireless and hard-wired sensor network on rotating components includes energy harvesting to eliminate battery maintenance and improve SHUMS on Sikorsky MH-60S.

Abstract: The ability to identify and predict the fatigue of structural components before they threaten rotorcraft performance is highly valuable. According to the U.S. Navy, 90% of rotorcraft total life cycle (TLC) costs occur after initial delivery.  Understanding the condition of rotorcraft can provide considerable maintenance efficiencies as well as improve the safety of system operators.  As a result aircraft platform can achieve higher availability, safer operation, and reduced maintenance costs.

MicroStrain’s wireless structural sensor solutions support the rapid deployment of advanced health monitoring tools.  In 2011, MicroStrain demonstrated its wireless health-monitoring network aboard the Sikorsky MH-60S.  Wireless sensors were configured with energy harvesting capabilities to achieve autonomous operation, thus eliminating the need for battery maintenance.  Synchronized wireless and wired sensor data, collected at various sample rates, were successfully aggregated using time as a unifying variable. The system contained 17 nodes measuring strain, acceleration and orientation.  Nodes were located on the MH-60S pitch link and body.   Aggregated data can connect with the health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) box through a wired Ethernet port. Other applicable machines and structures include wind turbines, heavy equipment, rotating machinery, and fixed-wing aircraft.