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Center Innovation Fund: AFRC CIF

Acoustic Diagnostics of Turbofan Health Monitoring

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This unique innovation employs an array of external microphones to pinpoint faults within turbofan engines. The development team partnered with Armstrong’s Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) effort by piggybacking onto an existing field test. After a successful demonstration, the project is now part of the VIPR program, which will fund the work going forward.

Work to date: The team has achieved several significant technical accomplishments, most notably the successful recording of VIPR turbofan engine data with external microphones. In this particular test, bleed valve failures were induced at both high- and low-pressure compressor stages within an engine and the data were recorded. The team then developed software algorithms to identify engine faults within acoustic data and applied these algorithms to the recorded data, successfully identifying the bleed valve failures in the high-pressure stage.

Looking ahead: Identifying faults at low-pressure stages will require a system with greater sensitivity; therefore, the team plans to use additional experimental recorded data to show how an array of microphones can detect quieter faults.

Benefits

  • Accurate: Uses an innovative array configuration to pinpoint the exact location of a fault within an engine
  • Efficient: Optimizes condition-based maintenance so that service occurs only when needed rather than at predetermined times
  • Improves safety: Identifies faults before they cause catastrophic damage

Applications

  • Aircraft engines, commercial rail, and trucks
  • Military land transport vehicles

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Anticipated Benefits

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A final report document may be available for this project. If you would like to request it, please contact us.

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