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Instrumentation

Facilities & Tools

The SOA Division uses a number of specialized tools and facilities focused on advanced sensing and condition-based maintenance. Some of these resources were developed in-house; others represent state-of-the-art software and instrumentation tools that are commercially available. In addition, the division shares the resources of the Applied Research Laboratory, which includes 200,000 square feet of engineering and testing facilities.

Advanced Sensing & Control

Condition-Based Maintenance

Advanced Sensing & Control

To support advanced sensing and control, we have a large number of processors, real-time software development systems and advanced sensors and communications equipment for rapid prototyping of concepts. In addition, we have a wide variety of data acquisition boards, embedded system development kits, and associated electronics. Instrumentation includes DAT recorders, microphones with preamplifiers and portable power supplies, and speakerphones and pistonphones for microphone calibration, in addition to spectrum analyzers and digital oscilloscopes.

Environmental Test Chamber - Used to test sensors and embedded systems under controlled temperature (-24 to 177 degrees Celsius) and humidity conditions (20 to 95% relative humidity).

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Environmental Test Chamber
 

Outdoor Sound Propagation Test Range - Used to test acoustic and meteorological sensors, this range is equipped with a suite of meteorological sensors to completely characterize environment. Condition-Based Maintenance

The following facilities enable the division to advance the state of diagnostics and prognostics through out the development, evaluation, and application of advanced sensing, reasoning, and modeling techniques.

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Mechanical Diagnostics Test Bed
Mechanical Diagnostics Test Bed (MDTB) - Used to determine the precursors to failure for rotating components (e.g., gearboxes) and other components (e.g., bearings).

The MDTB can run components to failure, allowing researchers to collect data on temperature, vibration, and acoustic emission and analyze the findings using signal processing algorithms. The transitional failure data sets, which characterize fault inception and progression, are made available to the diagnostic community.

Diesel-Enhanced MDTB (DEMDTB) - Has same basic driveline specification as MDTB and offers load-side power regeneration for high efficiency test operation. Uses either a diesel engine or a motor drive as prime mover. Allows exploration of seeded/transitional faults in closely coupled reciprocating sources and rotary drive systems.

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Lubrication System Test Bed

Lubrication System Test Bench - Reproduces the salient aspects of gas turbine engine lubrication systems. Can be used to develop validated model-based diagnostic approaches for many fault types. Can simulate or produce lubricant degradation, contamination, internally or externally generated debris, flow blockage, and leakage--all important failure effects.


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Torisional Test Rig

Torsional Test Rig - Uses torsional vibration to diagnose cracking in turbine blades and shafts. Enables researchers to identify and categorize features that accompany crack development. Applied to an operational environment, this knowledge enables maintenance systems to detect cracking at its earliest stages, thereby minimizing damage and downtime.
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Bearing Prognostics Test Rig

Bearing Prognostics Test Rig - Generates bearing transition-to-failure data to support development of diagnostic and prognostic algorithms. These algorithms can benefit a wide range of applications and industries--nearly all rotating elements rely on some type of bearing.


Ball and V-Ring Test Stand
- Mechanical test rig with rotating ring which enables such variables as lubrication, contact loading, and environment to be controlled. The test stand is used to develop more accurate surface fatigue strength data for bearings, gears, and cams. Such data results in more precise predictions of component life on a macrostructural basis.

Battery Prognostics Test Bench - Used with a model-based battery diagnostics and prognostics approach developed by the CBM Department to accurately assess the condition (i.e., state of charge) and capacity (i.e., amp-hour) of primary batteries and predict the remaining useful life (i.e., number of cycles remaining) for secondary batteries.

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Battery Prognostics Test Bench

This test bench produces transitional data to validate the model's virtual parameters and feature vectors, enabling inferences to be made about the state of the system and the battery's potential failure modes.
Condition-Based Maintenance Features Toolbox - A set of standard processing routines that incorporates a mix of traditional features and non-traditional, ARL-developed features. The toolbox precludes users from having to code feature routines for each application and eliminates variation in feature definition and implementation.
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CBM Features Toolbox
It provides a straightforward interface, is easily expandable for new features, offers simplistic input/output file structures, and allows batch processing of features and data.

Integration Systems &Technology Transfer (SITT) Facility - Computer facility that supports information flow and coordination of research developments for common integration, test, evaluation, and demonstration of models, signal processing, and intelligent inference software. The SITT facilitates technology transfer and integration of externally developed technologies. It fosters the generation of black-box research products capable of being scaffolded to demonstrate end-to-end diagnostics capabilities.

Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) - One of the most powerful techniques established for measuring and improving the reliability of product design. FMECA is used to analyze the probable causes of product failure, identify the manufacturing or assembly process that is responsible, determine which process control variable to use for prevention and detection, and quantify the problem's effect on the organization.