Navy looks to General Electric for aircraft engine damage-control software

U.S. Navy aviation experts are trying to develop new ways of detecting and mitigating aircraft engine damage automatically through software.

by John Keller

RIDGECREST, Calif. — U.S. Navy aviation experts are trying to develop new ways of detecting and mitigating aircraft engine damage automatically through software.

To do this, they are looking to build on work already finished under a program called Survivable Engine Control Algorithm Development Program (SECAD). Experts would like to blend SECAD results with another program called Integrated Engine Prognostics and Health Monitoring (IEPHM).

This project is taking shape at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWC) at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center in Ridgecrest, Calif. NAWC officials are set to award a sole-source contract to General Electric Co. in Cincinnati to blend the SECAD and IEPHM programs.

This will result in developing damage-detection and mitigation algorithms to operate throughout a realistic flight and engine-operating envelope, Navy officials say. Results of the project should apply to current and future aircraft engine programs.

General Electric engineers are set to develop computer algorithms using a state-of-the-art turbine engine cycle and control system, such as that of General Electric's 414-GE-400 engines on the Navy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter-bomber.

Integrating SECAD with IEPHM technologies will involve the evaluation of IEPHM damage-detection capability, quantification of the benefits of using IEPHM sensors and damage detection logic in conjunction with SECAD, and the development of an integrated damage-detection approach, Navy officials say.

General Electric engineers will evaluate these damage-detection technologies in an engine test demonstrating the capability of the extended SECAD algorithms and integrated SECAD/IEPHM system.

General Electric has the modeling tools readily available to develop the new damage-detection algorithms and update the existing algorithms as necessary, Navy officials say.

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