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Proceedings Paper

Integrated acoustic emission/vibration sensor for detecting damage in aircraft drive train components
Author(s): Valery F. Godínez-Azcuaga; Didem Ozevin; Richard D. Finlayson; Athanasios Anastasopoulos; Apostolos Tsimogiannis
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Paper Abstract

Diaphragm-type couplings are high misalignment torque and speed transfer components used in aircrafts. Crack development in such couplings, or in the drive train in general, can lead to component failure that can bring down an aircraft. Real time detection of crack formation and growth is important to prevent such catastrophic failures. However, there is no single Nondestructive Monitoring method available that is capable of assessing the early stages of crack growth in such components. While vibration based damage identification techniques are used, they cannot detect cracks until they reach a considerable size, which makes detection of the onset of cracking extremely difficult. Acoustic Emission (AE) can detect and monitor early stage crack growth, however excessive background noise can mask acoustic emissions produced by crack initiation. Fusion of the two mentioned techniques can increase the accuracy of measurement and minimize false alarms. However, a monitoring system combining both techniques could prove too large and heavy for the already restricted space available in aircrafts. In the present work, we will present a newly developed integrated Acoustic Emission/Vibration (AE/VIB) combined sensor which can operate in the temperature range of -55°F to 257°F and in high EMI environment. This robust AE/VIB sensor has a frequency range of 5 Hz-2 kHz for the vibration component and a range of 200-400 kHz for the acoustic emission component. The sensor weight is comparable to accelerometers currently used in flying aircraft. Traditional signal processing approaches are not effective due to high signal attenuation and strong background noise conditions, commonly found in aircraft drive train systems. As an alternative, we will introduce a new Supervised Pattern Recognition (SPR) methodology that allows for simultaneous processing of the signals detected by the AE/VIB sensor and their classification in near-real time, even in these adverse conditions. Finally, we will discuss the architecture developed to produce a fully autonomous monitoring tool based on the fusion of the AE and Vibration techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6531, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2007, 65310C (19 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.714753
Show Author Affiliations
Valery F. Godínez-Azcuaga, Physical Acoustics Corp. (United States)
Didem Ozevin, Physical Acoustics Corp. (United States)
Richard D. Finlayson, Physical Acoustics Corp. (United States)
Athanasios Anastasopoulos, Envirocoustics (Greece)
Apostolos Tsimogiannis, Envirocoustics (Greece)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6531:
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2007
H. Felix Wu; Aaron A. Diaz; Peter J. Shull, Editor(s)

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