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Welcome to the

OAI Aerospace Instrumentation and Controls Collaboration Forum

Ohio Aerospace Institute, 22800 Cedar Point Road, Cleveland, OH 44142


The Building Blocks of Smart Sensors and other Technologies for Distributed High Temperature Intelligent Integrated Controls Networks for Aerospace Applications

25 August, 2011


Dr. Al Behbahani

Air Force Research Laboratory



    • 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.             Smart sensors
    • 15 min – Introduction --Al
      • Motivation for Distributed High Temperature Controls
      • Distributed Open Software Hierarchical Architectures for Control Systems
    • 20 min – Developing standards for distributed engine controls – Dewey
      • High level node architecture (functional requirements)
      • What will the DECWG requirements document contain
    • 20 min – Developing standards for Smart Sensors – Bhal
    • 20 min – Discussions
  • 2:15 – 2:30 p.m.  Break

Statement of Objective

  • The Air Force Research Laboratory has committed its resources to the development of new tools and component technologies to improve the affordability, fuel efficiency and increased power/weight of the legacy and future fleet of aircraft gas turbine engines thorough the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine (VAATE) initiatives.
  • A pervasive enabler across all VAATE platforms is high temperature capable controls, sensors, and actuatorswhich will allow for enhanced thermal management, development cost reductions, and possible fuel burn savings. The Distributed Engine Control Working Group (DECWG) has identified that a key enabler for future engine control systems is high temperature capable electronics which will allow full life operation in increasingly harsh thermal environments.
  • This effort will develop requirements documents to be used by industry for high temperature distributed control systems (along with high temp. sensors and actuators) as well as perform proof of concept testing for State Of the Art (SOA) high temperature Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) device packaging and development/toolkit work for compact/affordable SOI wafers.
  • This activity serves as initial risk mitigation for demonstrating high temperature Distributed control architectures on the 2014 -2015 CAESAR engine.

Objectives of Today’s Meeting

  • Eliminate duplication and encourage collaboration among DECWG, PIWG, ASWG, IAPG, TETWoG, small businesses, universities, and colleges for sensors, instrumentation, modeling & simulation
  • Summary of the DECWG, and how small business & universities can participate or contribute to overall goal and vision of the DECWG & other teams. Ideas such as SBIR benefits and contributions, consortium participation, standards, Power supplies, Process and Toolkit Development, sensors, collaborate in buying parts for the whole group at the reduced price, communication data bus, packaging, System Level / Node Level / Chip Level requirements, cost minimization ideas.
  • Reemphasize the vision of the DECWG to eliminate operational limitations imposed by Controls on next generation turbine engine and aerospace vehicle applications, while positively impacting system-level cost, weight, size, reliability and adaptability/reuse metrics.
  • The DECWG goal is to create a voluntary pre-competitive collaboration between government and aerospace industry to promote development of affordable high-temperature-capable distributed gas turbine engine controls and sensors.
  • Define the roll and responsibilities for the airframers to be involved in the PIWG & DECWG. Need to have an integration plan to involve them.
  • A true collaboration between the entire participants for a mutually beneficial for advancement of sensors, actuators, and controls.

The Process for Distributed Controls (including Smart Sensors and Actuators)

Requirements Definition

Hardware, Software, & Systems










Is the central issue needs to be focused

Modular, Distributed Architecture


Communication Methods and Protocol

High Temperature Electronics

Requirements are different for Test Cell Application Vs. Flight application


Objective: Modular, Open, Distributed Engine Control

  • Technology Benefits
  • Increased Performance
    • Reduction in engine weight due to digital signaling, lower wire/connector count, reduced cooling need
    • 5% increase in thrust-to-weight ratio
  • Improved Mission Success
    • System availability improvement due to automated fault isolation, reduced maintenance time, modular LRU
    • 10% increase in system availability
  • Lower Life Cycle Cost
    • Reduced cycle time for design, manufacture, V&V
    • Reduced component and maintenance costs via cross-platform commonality, obsolescence mitigation
    • Flexible upgrade path through open interface standards
  • Capability Needs
  • Open Systems Development, Modeling & Design
    • Future systems requirements definition
    • Open industry interface standards definition
    • System modeling tools development
    • Modular system integration and test techniques
  • Hardware Systems Development
    • High temperature integrated circuits and systems development
    • Improved electronic component availability
  • Software Systems Development
    • Software system partitioning
    • Software design and modular test capability
    • Software distributed system V&V

Technical Requirements for Distributed Controls, Smart Sensors and Actuators

Physical Drivers for Smart Sensors / Actuators / Distributed Control System Designs

  • Thermal Environment
  • Externals Packaging
  • Rapid Reconfiguration / Upgradability
  • Generic Physical/Functional Interface
  • Environmental Requirements
  • Certification Impact
  • Integration Testing
  • Developing Standards
  • Financial Responsibility

Focus on Near-Term Applications

  • Concentrate on commercial applications with production volumes
  • Design for maximum leveraging though multiple applications

Externals Packaging

  • Need to integrate electronics onto or within existing hardware
  • Minimize unique hardware
  • Adding new/extra mounting hardware drives cost, weight in the wrong direction

Technical Requirements for Distributed Controls…(Cont.)

Environmental Requirements

  • Design for existing ambient temperatures and vibration environments
  • Don’t drive cost/complexity into the DCM to withstand unrealistic margins
  • Focus on actual engine environments, not D0160/810 generic requirements
  • Design electronics to withstand existing hardware thermal conditions
  • Recognize limitations of typical industry materials
  • Aluminums (300F/149C), Elastomers (350F/177F)

Certification Impact, Changes to Testing

  • Allow certification at modular level
  • Require system level certification using black box approach to testing
  • Allow flexible system expansion/contraction without recert. required

Integration testing

  • System integration testing paradigms will shift
  • System integration tasks will shift one layer down the food chain
      • AS/OS boundaries may drive testing location, integration responsibilities

Bhal will be talking next


Motivation / Objective

  • Are engine control sensors and actuatorskeeping pace with turbine engine system needs?
  • How Do & Why Should we take advantage of emerging electronics and smart sensors and actuator technologies, and integration technology?
  • What are the collaboration opportunities for the turbine engine sensors and actuators community?

Implementation of Distributed Engine Controls with Smart Sensors



Cross Channel Data Links (CCDL)












the role of data communication and smart sensors and actuators in a distributed engine control
The Role of Data Communication and Smart Sensors and Actuators in a Distributed Engine Control

A fully distributed control system. Each system element individually connects to the network. Each physical element can have multiple functions, some of which require real-time communication for control and others which may be less time critical.

straw man plans
Straw man Plans
  • To work on High temperature Electronics to be used in the data concentrator, smart nodes, smart sensors, smart actuators, and smart pumps
  • Each company proprietary information will be protected.
  • Every company from US will start from the same building blocks.
  • Will use common I/Os, data buses, and standard components / software (if possible)
smart sensors actuators integration
Smart Sensors, Actuators, & Integration
  • Develop the technologies to implement reliable, integrated electronics for high temperature applications.
  • Stable, high temperature transistors
  • Multilevel interconnect structures for complex integrated circuit development
  • High performance packaging and interconnects for reliable, extreme environment applications
  • Develop high temperature sensing capabilities
need collaboration on smart sensors and actuators
Need collaboration on Smart Sensors and Actuators

High Temperature Electronics

High Temperature Packaging

Data Bus Communication

Standardized Smart Sensors

Standardized Smart Actuators

Standardized software

Standardized Power supplies

Standardized chips

Standardized Communication H/W

Standardized testing & Evaluation

Certifiable components

Integration Testing

Standardized Processes while keeping proprietary information and stimulating innovation and evolution in the Distributed Control

centrally controled fadec
Centrally Controled FADEC

Baseline centralized engine control architecture. The FADEC connects directly to each system element

ieee 1451
IEEE 1451
  • Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and Actuators
  • The objective of IEEE 1451 is to develop a smart transducer interface standard to make it easier for transducer manufacturers to develop smart devices and to interface those devices to networks, systems, and instruments by incorporating existing and emerging sensor and networking technologies. The standard interface consists of three parts.
      • Smart Transducer Interface Module (STIM) – electronics to convert the native transducer signal to digital quantities.
      • Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) – a memory which contains transducer specific information such as; identification, calibration, correction data, measurement range, manufacture-related information, etc
      • Network-capable application processor (NCAP) - the hardware and software that provides the communication function between the STIM and the network
ieee 14511
IEEE 1451

The IEEE 1451 standard family defines the interfaces between various transducers and networks, including wireless