TRI/Austin Inc. diagnostic/prognostic system monitors F-15 aircraft health during flight

AUSTIN, Texas, 13 Feb. 2007. TRI/Austin's diagnostic/prognostic system that is able to monitor aircraft and rotorcraft structural components in flight has just flown aboard the F-15. In 2003, the Army awarded a $729,888 SBIR Phase II contract to the company focused on ruggedizing the system, optimizing performance, reducing power draw, refining the prognostic/diagnostic algorithms, and building a system for test.

Feb 13th, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas, 13 Feb. 2007. TRI/Austin's diagnostic/prognostic system that is able to monitor aircraft and rotorcraft structural components in flight has just flown aboard the F-15. In 2003, the U.S. Army awarded a $729,888 SBIR Phase II contract to the company to develop the solution.

Phase II focused on ruggedizing the system, optimizing performance, reducing power draw, refining the prognostic/diagnostic algorithms, and building a system for test. The effort culminated in a successful flight test of the LAHMP system aboard the F-15.

"We couldn't have done it without Boeing, our teaming partner, who guided us through the process of getting on a flight test," notes Russell Austin, the principal scientist on the project. "Safety is critical and we had to prove that our system was safe enough to fly on board a plane. We successfully conducted third-party independent testing prior to placing the system on the aircraft and then a ground test on the plane before take-off."

Third-party verification included acceleration testing of up to 6G on 6 axes, as well as RFI/EMI testing. In-house thermal testing showed the system to be operational in the specified range of -40 to 85 degrees Celsius, including thermal shock.

"We developed patented algorithms to determine structural health from on board sensor readings," David Forsyth, the NDE/SHM division manager, remarks. "In addition, we designed the health management platform to be fully customizable for a wide variety of aircraft."

Potential applications include fighter aircraft, such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18, military transports, helicopters, commercial aircraft, and rockets.

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