Thrust Areas in Civilian Systems

Ground Vehicle Systems Durability, Safety, and Efficiency

Automotive manufacturers and suppliers are constantly working for higher standards in durability, safety, and efficiency. We are working with manufacturers to provide methods for assessing durability and enhancing efficiency. For example, we have developed a new method for measuring the onset of damage in tires and are developing new ways to monitor and control emissions in IC engines.

Condition-Based Maintenance for Commercial Systems

Manufacturers of gas turbine engines, aircraft, and construction machinery are leasing instead of selling equipment; therefore, manufacturers must now maintain the performance of their products under contract. We have developed many technologies for condition-based maintenance in these applications. For example, we have developed a means of detecting the onset of faults in aircraft engine wire harnesses and connectors.

Monitoring of Spacecraft, Process, and Advanced Power Systems

New requirements for space exploration, the critical role of chemical refineries, and the desire for alternative sources of energy are driving the need for monitoring technologies that detect faults in complex systems long before failure. For example, we have developed techniques for detecting degradation in space trusses and process anomalies in large oil refineries. We are also developing monitoring techniques for wind turbine rotors and gear boxes to help make wind farms as efficient as possible.

Prognostics in Machinery and Other Engineered Devices

Machinery in manufacturing environments must be managed properly to avoid costly downtime. New kinds of products also require new approaches for testing and reliability prediction. For example, we have developed prognostic models for predicting the failure of components in integrated suspensions, which are lighter than traditional suspensions providing better fuel efficiency.

Novel Sensors for Monitoring in Civilian Settings

In civilian applications, there is a need for inexpensive new sensors and measurement approaches for monitoring performance and quality such as in automotive and aerospace manufacturing processes. For example, we are developing a sensing approach for locating leaks in cast engine blocks and detecting anomalies in repair rivets.

Modeling & Simulation for Complex, Interoperating Systems

Manufacturers are working to reduce development cycle time and operators seek to increase the operational resilience of systems. We work with both groups to develop models and simulations that anticipate and mitigate problems. For example, we are working with government agencies to transform air transportation and with engine manufacturers to develop new models for end-of-line test stands to ensure quality.

 

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