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26 May 2011 Towards development of a fiber optic-based transmission monitoring system
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There is interest in the rotorcraft community to develop health monitoring technologies. Among these technologies is the ability to monitor the transmission planetary gear system. The gearbox environment does not lend itself to traditional sensing technologies due to the harsh environment and crowed space. Traditional vibration-based diagnostics are based on the output from externally mounted sensors, usually accelerometers fixed to the gearbox exterior. This type of system relies on the ability of the vibration signal to travel from the gears through the gearbox housing. These sensors are also susceptible to other interference including electrical magnetic interference (EMI). For these reasons, the development of a fiber optic-based transmission monitoring system represents an appealing alternative to the accelerometer due to their resistance to EMI and other signal corrupting influences. Aither Engineering has been working on integrating the fiber optic sensors into the gearbox environment to measure strain on the ring gear of the planetary gear system. This application utilizes a serial array of wavelength division multiplexed fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. Work in this area has been conducted at both the University of Maryland, College Park and more recently at the NASA Glenn Research Center (NGRC) OH-58 transmission test rig facility. This paper discusses some of the testing results collected from the fiber optic ring gear sensor array. Based on these results, recommendations for system requirements are addressed in terms of the capabilities of the FBG instrumentation.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Chris S. Baldwin, Jason S. Kiddy, and Paul D Samuel "Towards development of a fiber optic-based transmission monitoring system", Proc. SPIE 8026, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Transportation, and Harsh Environment II, 80260N (26 May 2011);

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