Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RTMGear Report Summary

Project ID: 641593
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Portugal

Periodic Report Summary 1 - RTMGEAR (RealTime Monitoring Power Reduction Gearbox)

Project Context and Objectives:
Towards the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE) goals, which intends to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by 50 % within the next decade, the Clean Sky program has focused its intervention in several concurrent developments, such as aircraft aerodynamics and weight, and highly efficient engine concepts. In this framework, Snecma is leading the Clean Sky SAGE2 activities, to study the development of an innovative concept based in a geared open rotor engine that will end up as a breakthrough for the next 15 years, thanks to the improvements in the propulsive efficiency, without the penalties of any duct drag.
Along with several engine subsystems and technologies that are being developed in the scope of SAGE2, conducted by several Clean Sky ITD leaders, Avio Aero is responsible for the power gearbox, which is the focus of this research and technology development activity.
As an innovative high efficiency power gearbox is being developed, it is very important to keep the tracking of as many early physical parameters as possible, in order to provide useful feedback data for design processes optimization; during operation, similar parameters will allow the aircraft to identify potential structural health problems, such as unexpected vibration, temperature and torque variations.
In the framework of the RTMGear activity, the development is focused at monitoring physical parameters within the sun gear and the ring gear of a power gearbox. The Sun gear will be monitored by the Sun Gear Telemetry Unit (SGTU) and the Surface Acoustic Wave Sensing Unit (SSU). The first will rely on traditional miniaturized temperature sensors, strain gages, torque sensors, and respective miniaturized conditioning, acquisition and transmission electronic circuits, while the latter intends to follow a novel monitoring technology supported by temperature and strain SAW passive sensors. The ring gear will be monitored by the Ring Gear Telemetry Unit (RGTU), which follows a technological concept similar to the SGTU, except the torque measurements. In this case, the main goal is to measure the strain and temperature in the ring gear outer surface.

Project Results:
The project was initially planned to last for 10 months, but due to the extension of the required research and development activities, it was agreed between the consortium, the topic manager and CSJU to re-scheduled the development plan and change the duration to 25 months.
The work performed for the first period was the following:
• Definition of the system requirements, taking into consideration the preliminary system analysis and preliminary validation of the proposed concepts;
• Definition of a preliminary telemetry and SAW sensors architectures, followed by the manufacturing of simplified mock-ups, and the respective testing campaign to validate the proposed solutions;
• Preparation of a complete conceptual design for the telemetric and SAW based systems, showing the proposed technical solutions, and respective analysis that demonstrates how the proposed concept tackles the project needs;
• Initial design of the test bench, that will be used to test the functionality and preliminary assessment of the telemetric systems performance.
Along with the produced documentation, the most relevant result of the first period was the preliminary validation of the initial theoretical concepts, which give reasonable confidence to proceed with the design of the telemetric systems.

Potential Impact:
The proposed project will contribute to the objectives of developing a system to acquire parameters to keep track of as many physical parameters of a power gearbox as possible, in order to provide useful feedback data for optimizing the design process. During operation, similar parameters will allow the aircraft to identify potential structural health problems, such as unexpected vibration, temperature, and torque variations.
From a technical point of view, the project is expected to contribute to the development of knowledge in the design and manufacturing of sensing and of telemetry systems which are required by the European aeronautical industry to improve its competitiveness regarding sensing, deeper understanding and measurement of engines and gearboxes behaviour, and optimization of engine and gearbox components.
The knowledge created by developing this system will allow for a significantly deeper understanding of the gear box behaviour and erosion, thus enabling design optimization and consequently reduction of mass, noise and emissions. The project will contribute to the development of an industrially working prototype of a mechanism with currently available cutting edge technology, further enhanced by available academic R&D work (in particular SAW research) is expected. Moreover, the project will also identify technology gaps and bridge to current developments at R&D level as well as to future technologies currently being developed (e.g., energy harvesting, telemetry/wireless for high rotation speeds, reliable high-g and high temperature electronics, thermal management, etc.).
Finally, the project will contribute to a number of spin off applications related to sensing of harsh environments, such as nuclear reactors, tanks, a number of combustion engines and rotors, spacecraft and re-entry capsules, etc. This will have a multiplier effect in the European industry and enable advancements in preventive maintenance.


Dina Gaspar, (EU & Public Funding Manager)
Tel.: +351304505502
Fax: +351304505506
Record Number: 182302 / Last updated on: 2016-05-23
Information source: SESAM