NASA, Partners Testing Aircraft Engine Health Monitoring System

The tests feed volcanic ash into jet engines to test advanced sensors and diagnostics.

Remember Eyjafjallajökull? Perhaps not, but the international aviation community certainly does recall the name of the Icelandic volcano that erupted in 2010, halting flights in much of Europe and causing widespread disruptions. Now, NASA is testing a new system for monitoring aircraft engines' health by feeding volcanic ash into a test engine, Jay Levine, an editor at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, wrote in a report on www.nasa.gov July 20.

He wrote that a joint NASA, government, and industry project team is conducting the tests at the research center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., as part of the Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research project. "Volcanic ash was chosen for the final of a three-phase research project because atmospheric particulates have become of interest to military and civil aviation authorities that have to assess the airworthiness of engines that have encountered the ash," Levine reported. "Eruptions in Iceland over the last five years, especially in 2010, disrupted air traffic worldwide and cost airline companies more than $1 billion due to cancelled or rerouted flights. The new sensors are expected to detect the degradation caused by the volcanic ash, quantify the significance of the event, and aid in identifying which components might require maintenance."

The research center contributed two F-117 engines for the testing of sensors and advanced diagnostic techniques. Levine's report quotes Jack Hoying, U.S. Air Force volcanic ash environment principal investigator: "Compressor blade erosion and turbine ash deposits are what is damaging the engine. The tests can answer questions about how close we can fly to these volcanic plumes."

Partners on the project include the FAA, Boeing Research & Technology, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric Aviation, and Rolls-Royce Liberty Works, he reported.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Comply with OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

    Collect relevant incident data and generate accurate OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 regulatory reports, including 300A CSV files for easy electronic submission to OSHA.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus