Cost effective research and development of NASA’s new propulsion capabilities places a premium on maximizing the return spent on ground testing. Tests must yield high-quality results both in data and subsequent analysis, fit into aggressive development schedules, and allow developers to minimize costly test-fail-fix cycles.
In this Phase I project, Lorand Technologies is proposing to adapt its core wireless and battery-less vibration sensing technology for application in propulsion systems ground testing. The enabling component of our technology is an innovative sensor design that converts applied acceleration to a shift in the resonant frequency of a micro-resonator that could be interrogated wirelessly and passively. For this application, the material used in fabrication and packaging of the sensor will be chosen to withstands operation temperatures of ~600C and above.
This technology’s broad capabilities in propulsion testing is critical to all of the Agency’s launch vehicle programs, as well as numerous technology development projects. These capabilities include testing and associated support hardware through experimental, developmental, or operational life-cycle phases. The proposed vibration sensor for propulsion testing will serve a vital role in support of the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion crew vehicle, NASA’s commercial crew and future cargo programs.
Vibration monitoring is an integral part of machine condition monitoring programs. All equipment that comprise belts, gears, bearings, drive motors, or other moving components have a “normal” range of vibration during operating cycles. Change in equipment vibration serves as an early warning of a decline in operating condition and signals the need for preventative maintenance.