A proposed data-fusion system, to be implemented mostly in software, would further process the digitized and preprocessed outputs of sensors in a turbofan engine to detect foreign-object damage (FOD) [more precisely, damage caused by impingement of such foreign objects as birds, pieces of ice, and runway debris]. The proposed system could help a flight crew to decide what, if any, response is necessary to complete a flight safely, and could aid mechanics in deciding what post-flight maintenance action might be needed.
The sensory information to be utilized by the proposed system would consist of (1) the output of an accelerometer in an engine-vibration-monitoring subsystem and (2) features extracted from a gas path analysis. ["Gas path analysis" (GPA) is a term of art that denotes comprehensive analysis of engine performance derived from readings of fuel-flow meters, shaft-speed sensors, temperature sensors, and the like.]
The acceleration signal would first be processed by a wavelet-transform-based algorithm, using a wavelet created for the specific purpose of finding abrupt FOD-induced changes in noisy accelerometer signals. Two additional features extracted would be the amplitude of vibration (determined via a single- frequency Fourier transform calculated at the rotational speed of the engine), and the rate of change in amplitude due to an FOD-induced rotor
This work was done by James A. Torso of QSS Group, Inc. and Jonathan S. Litt of the U. S. Army Research Laboratory for Glenn Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Machinery/Automation category.
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