The aim of the project is to create, within the Cluster Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale Pugliese, a common platform of skills and technologies for the design, development and integration of sensors and microsystems for several applications in the Aeronautics, Aerospace and in addition naval fields. In particular, microsystems, which can be used in land and/or on board, will be developed, after an appropriate customization to the specific application for any infrastructure, structure or component.
Technological expertises and skills will be thus developed, which can allow to the Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale to strengthen as excellence centre and focus both nation- and world-wide for the development of technologies for advanced systems, microsystems, and sensors.

The project has two main goals:

  • OR1 on the Health Monitoring of structures, components, and infrastructures on board
  • OR2 on the Engine Component Monitoring and prognosis of the aeronautic and spatial airplanes

The first goal (OR1) consists in the optimisation of the use and of the maintenance of structures and components in the aeronautic and spatial and naval fields. This goal is organized in three aims for the fabrication of an integrated system supporting the decisions based on the Sensing, Health Monitoring, Prognosis and Business Intelligence.

The three aims can be summarized as follows:
a) The first aim concerns sensors and the Health Monitoring of infrastructures, structures and/or components.
b) The second aim concerns the development of methodologies and algorithms for the valuation of the outstanding life (prognosis) of the monitored components.
c) The third aim concerns the collection of the monitoring and prognosis data for the support of an analytical process that allows to the end user (e.g. maintenance supervisor) to decide on the maintenance choices, for example bringing forward, postponing or properly combining the maintenance services on specific setup, in order to optimize their operation availability and reduce the cost supported in their life time.
The second goal (OR2) deals with the Engine Component Monitoring in the aeronautical and aerospace sectors. These activities can be subdivided into sub-activities, just like for OR1:
a) The first aim deals with the design and realization of a prognostic monitoring system for avionic components and with the development of innovative sensors for control of the jet plane emissions and vibrations.
b) The second aim deals with the development of an algorithm for the interpretation of the data coming from the sensors placed on the components to be monitored in order to identify risks and/or maintenance service. The fast evolution of the aeronautical engine characteristics and of the engine electric systems requires the realization of smart mechanical and electric systems founded on the “platform” concept which can replace the traditional monitoring way based on single component diagnostic.
c) The third aim deals with the development of enabling technologies for the Platform realization where the gained microelectronics knowledge can be used and the exploited materials, with innovative electronic properties, can be transferred to constitute field effect platform as beginning structure for the ASIC commercial electronics.

At the instance of the end user AVIO SpA, a sensors platform will be developed for the monitoring of the engine and of its components. The main interest of the end user is based on the gear box vibrations control by using accelerometer. Vibrations analysis is a relatively modern technique for the components health monitoring. The main target is to derive the presence and the kind of damage at its first level and to monitor the damage evolution in order to evaluate the remaining lifetime and to choose the suitable maintenance service.
In the immediate future, the management of the complex systems will adopt more and more organizing models in which systems and their components will be able to provide independently (without a direct human work) for several logistics activities, such as the order of replacement components, the request for the expert service, the warning of prediction of forthcoming damages and the schedule of maintenance activities.