NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 A1.08-9406
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Engine Lifing and Prognosis for In-Flight Emergencies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Aircraft Engine Life-Consumption Monitoring for Real-Time Reliability Determination

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nastec, Inc.
5310 West 161Street , Suite G
Brook Park, OH 44142 - 1601
(216) 464-8388

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard Klein
5310 West 161Street , Suite G
Brook Park, OH 44142 - 1601
(216) 464-8388

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A real-time life-use consumption monitor is proposed for aircraft engine systems. The life monitor will process power data available on the aircraft to calculate the accumulating in-flight power loading which the engine experiences. This power loading reduces the available life of the engine. Under emergency in-flight conditions and/or foreign object damage, engine loads and temperatures can increase rapidly as a sign of decreased remaining engine life and reliability. The life monitor will calculate and display in the aircraft the remaining time for safe operation under these conditions.
At present, fatigue life analysis techniques are primarily used as design-analysis tools These techniques have not been adapted for in-service use with an aircraft to date.
The reliable use of aircraft engines can be extended with more accurate knowledge of their remaining component and system fatigue lives. Early identification of engines in need of repair due to heavy use will improve their in-service safety.
By developing a life monitoring system which can be associated with a specific engine system and have as input the loads and load durations of that system, the reliability and safety of that system can be improved.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA GRC is currently pursuing an overall agency-wide goal to increase flight safety of commercial aircraft as part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program. This Program intends to conduct research to improve the intrinsic safety attributes of future aircraft using new and innovative airborne detection methods. In pursuit of this goal, this proposal applies analytical life prediction codes currently used to predict the service life of aircraft engines in the design stage to in-flight on-board monitoring systems that can track the fatigue life usage of specific aircraft.
This fatigue-life use knowledge will help to eliminate a safety-related technology void in the maintenance needs of specific aircraft engine systems. By adding airborne detection and monitoring of in-flight fatigue use, NASA and industry can cooperatively achieve increased flight safety goals through a better understanding of the service life of aircraft engines. This effort will provide industry a mechanism to improve the safety, reliability and maintainability of commercial aircraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Vigilance for safety must continue in order to meet the projected increases in air traffic capacity and realize the new capabilities envisioned for the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Present engine monitoring systems consist of vibration sensors that measure damage to the engine after it has occurred. This monitoring system measures a significant cause of this damage as it progresses to provide an early warning of impending damage.
The unsafe operation and high costs associated with surprise failures and unscheduled emergency maintenance procedures can be reduced substantially with the use of an in-service life monitor. The accurate prediction of remaining service life will diminish the need for unscheduled maintenance procedures for aircraft with heavy service loads by calling for more frequent servicing of these engine systems.
One potential application for this technology is in the U. S. Army Vehicle Technology Directorate for a fleet of helicopters. The U. S. Air Force is another potential end user. We have received assistance from Rolls-Royce and have entered discussions with Honeywell Aerospace for possible applications on their engine systems.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Aircraft Engines
Simulation Modeling Environment
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14