Rotary wing dynamic component structural life tracking with self-powered wireless sensors

Jacob Loverich, Jeremy Frank, Joseph Szefi, Edward C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


KCF Technologies has developed a novel wireless load sensing technology that can be readily embedded in existing rotorcraft parts located in critical load paths for use in HUMS systems. An H-60 pitch link rod end manufactured by Lord Corporation was chosen as the development platform. The rod end has an existing cavity within the threaded stem where components are embedded. These components consist of a piezoelectric stack for energy harvesting, a magnetostrictive based load sensor, data acquisition hardware, RF transmitter, and all accompanying circuitry. Experimental testing at Lord Corporation demonstrated the system's ability to harvest energy at representative pitch link loading levels, continuously sample load sensor data at 100 Hz, and wirelessly transmit the data to a nearby location. Flash memory can also be embedded within the rod end to store critical parameters derived from pitch link loading history. When not in service, the part could therefore be interrogated to determine its individual fatigue damage accumulation and remaining service life leading to improved aircraft readiness and reduced maintenance costs. KCF is working directly with partners Lord Corporation, Sikorsky Aircraft, and Goodrich to develop the core technology subject to critical performance and design constraints. KCF is also collaborating with Technical Data Analysis, Inc., to address the essential objectives of tracking each aircraft and its components in near real-time with a system level approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2545-2552
Number of pages8
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - 2010
Event66th Forum of the American Helicopter Society: "Rising to New Heights in Vertical Lift Technology", AHS Forum 66 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: May 11 2010May 13 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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