Device would replace endoscope plug and monitor blade and inlet damage.

A 12Ghz radar that could be installed as a permanent sensor on an engine is in the final stages of development.

BLade damage system big

To detect blade damage, the device is designed to replace an engine’s endoscope inspection plug. To monitor foreign object damage (FOD) another sensor sits in the inlet.

Developed by BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) in Great Baddow, UK, the radar can differentiate between stone and metal. Identifying the type of FOD entering the engine would help engineers determine what level of inspection needs to be carried out, potentially saving time and money.

The blade-damage sensor would be placed within the fan casing to fire radar waves at the rotating blades. It would identify blade problems by detecting their vibration. “We are fairly happy knowing how the radar looks at the engine. The next step is to extract the information from the radar data so the engineer can understand it,” says BAE Systems ATC future sensors group leader David Shephard.

The data interpretation software is currently at the proof-of-concept stage. Shephard adds that the electronics also need to be “productionised and shrunk”. The system was developed using an electrically driven Rolls-Royce provided Pegasus engine at Filton.


Source: Flight International