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Design of a Comprehensive Condition Monitoring System for Gas Turbine Engines

David May

Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University

Chien Yu Chen

Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University


This report contains the work of the capstone design team, assigned to design a comprehensive, cost effective, monitoring system for gas turbine engines. The main objective of the design was to produce a system capable of detecting and recording only special conditions or events. As a sample engine, the SR-30 gas turbine was used. A simulation of the engine using GSP software provided a model. The model was used to determine the healthy operation of the engine. The integration of a developed algorithm has enabled the system to be used for aerodynamic component monitoring, as well as, mechanical systems monitoring.

1. Introduction

Gas turbine engines constitute a complex system, requiring adequate monitoring to ensure safety and cost- efficient maintenance. Companies are constantly striving for ways to improve engine performance while simultan- eously trying to reduce cost. In order to reduce a high number of incidents and maintenance costs, engine- monitoring systems have become an integral part of the modern gas turbine. The Society of Automotive Engin- eers (SAE) published the first Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine Monitoring System guide in 1981[1].

The multi-disciplinary nature of the project, a fusion of Aerodynamics, Structure, System Modeling and Computer Engineering makes the design and implemen- tation particularly complicated. There was a constant trade-off between feasibility and functionality.

The development of a useful monitoring system requires that the engineer decide on the key parameters that affect performance, and further, it requires their predictive (or threshold) values for the given conditions.

Steven Farber

Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University

Dr. Ion Stiharu

Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University

Vincient Poirier

Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University

The actual inputs to the component (as recorded by the sensors) and the performance parameter data (post- processing), can then be compared to the predictive or threshold value to obtain a deviation from predicted results.

Based on the above discusion, data from a gas turbine engine is required. The cost effective alternative to operating a gas turbine engine was to build a computer simulation of the engine using component characteristics.

Efficient data storage was also a prime objective of the design. This was achieved with an event driven architecture. The system does not record data contin- uously. Data is sampled and processed, suited to the type of information being recorded. The data storage device of choice is the SmartCard system. The design objectives were a low cost, event driven philosophy and SmartCard based data storage. The SmartCard sender/receiver unit is interfaced to the sensors with the use of a micro-controller.

2. Simulation of a Gas Turbine Engine

Performance data is needed to determining healthy engine operation. Once the design and off-design per- formance is known for an engine, a simulation could be created using software for simulating typical engine missions. Temperature, pressure, and other key per- formance parameters could be obtained from the simulation, and then used as the threshold values of the engines healthy operation to which the actual measured values could be compared.

A survey of gas turbine software was conducted to investigate options for simulating a gas turbine engine. The simulation tool to suit our needs would be required to be able to perform 0-D modeling of design and off-

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