Coventry University | STARGATE

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Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

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Cogent Labs is in collaboration with leading European partners including 5 of the EU’s foremost gas turbine manufacturers.

Project Objectives

Reducing the amount of instrument cabling on turbine engines is key to more efficient testing, and will enable reduced wiring weight and complexity on production engines in the future.

It is anticipated that wireless capability for Engine Health Monitoring (EHM) sensors could significantly reduce the cost and complexity of retrofitting improved EHM capabilities to existing engines in service, as well as providing capability for future product prognostic and diagnostic health management systems. Enablers for fully wireless, less-wired and mixed networked sensors will be developed.

Research Impact

A major issue with any multiplexed sensor system is the accurate synchronization of data from multiple sensors. This is especially critical for high-speed dynamic sensors, such as accelerometers and dynamic pressure transducers, where phase information between sensors is key to understanding/diagnosing vibration modes and aerodynamic instabilities. The challenge is even greater where an engine is instrumented with a mixed suite of wired multiplexed, wireless data concentrators and fully wireless nodes. All partners in STARGATE are collaborating to develop hardware and protocols to enable fully mixed suites of wireless and less-wired sensors to operate without data synchronization issues.

For applications where power harvesting is the only viable power option for a wireless sensor, it is critical that the sensor can perform the required functions within the power available. This presents two main challenges:

1) Power may not always be harvested at the same time that data needs to be transferred, so power management and storage is important. Low power hardware and software methodologies will be developed and matched to the available power achieved from the harvesting technology.

2) Minimizing the power needed to reliably transmit data, especially dynamic data, through smart data compression methods is key to maximizing the data that can be transferred.

Cogent Labs is leading the development of efficient data compression and transmission techniques to solve these challenges and enable the use of harvested energy to power sensors in the engine environment.