Non-Destructive Evaluation and Prognostics: Advanced Sensors and Technologies Program
Integrated system health management (SHM) for platforms systems and subcomponents is now an integral part of planning the design and construction of future assets (e.g., ships, aircraft, vehicles, buildings). Health management of critical assets depends on two equally important processes. The first is health diagnostics; the second is health and lifetime prediction, or prognostics. The diagnostic step certainly feeds vital information to the prognostic arm. A variety of sensors have been developed, and continue to be developed or enhanced, to detect and analyze vibrations, current surges, stress and strain, as well as to "see" and identify defects such as cracks and corrosion pits.
An example: Spectroscopic oil analysis can be a valuable tool to identify potential stressors to engines and engine lifetime. Sensor development focuses on efficiency improvements through miniaturization, sensitivity enhancement and energy harvesting to reduce power requirements. The prognostic part of the program is perhaps the more difficult at this time. Prognosis involves prediction, and prediction can only be reliably made if one knows the physics, chemistry and allied engineering of the underlying failure mechanisms. This Office of Naval Research program supports work in a variety of fields to address these issues. (See also NDE and Prognostics: Fatigue and Fracture Damage Protection.)
- Structural health monitoring systems
- Advanced component failure warning
- Real-time diagnostics
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