Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

SensWIRING Report Summary

Project ID: 620163
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Portugal

Final Report Summary - SENSWIRING (HARNESS INTEGRATED DELOCALIZED SENSORS NETWORK FOR WIRING HEALTH MONITORING)

Executive Summary:
The sensWIRING project developed a wiring health monitoring, WHM, system. The main focus was on the development of smart sensor networks with wire defect detection functions, a low power embedded electronics, a wireless communication component. An energy harvesting and management function solution was analysed. The development of the sensing technology that fits into the wire harness and fulfils their measurement functions properly was the main goal. Besides developing the defect sensing technology, the measurement techniques and parameters as well as the interpretation of the measurements were performed. The developed WHM was prototyped and tested at laboratory environment. SensWIRING project is a milestone in the technology for on-board WHM.

The main aim of this project was to develop a system for monitoring harnesses defects, by implementing an integrated and delocalised sensors network. A harness can suffer from a number of defects, such as chafing, cracking, or chemical modifications. The WHM system is able of detecting and locating defects and damages in the wire harness, which will be detected locally in the vicinity of the sensor. A sensor network will be implemented with the sensors communicating together to report the health condition of the harness to a central node. Locally, each passive sensor node will embed:

a) a measurement/detection function;
b) a communication function; and
c) an energy harvesting and management function.

The development phase was based on demonstrating the developed technologies, initially as a proof-of-concept, then as a non-integrated prototype and finally as an integrated prototype. The developed technologies effectively detects chafing at ambient temperature. Fully integration into the harness was not achieved and further developments are still required for the technologies to be ready for industrial application.

An effective system as sensWIRING to monitor and early locate intermittent predecessors to catastrophic faults can dramatically decrease maintenance cost and time burden and at the same time improve safety while tackling Europe’s environment concerns and objectives. The developed system will firstly be dedicated to aircrafts; nevertheless technology transfer to other applications areas, in particular automotive, maritime transport, railway, energy and industrial equipment are expected.

Project Context and Objectives:
The sensWIRNG project goals, concerning WHM system are:

• ensuring airworthiness,
• improving system’s efficiency and
• reducing maintenance and inspections operations costs

The developed WHM system provide early or even pre-fault detection, enable lower-cost corrective action by preventing a higher-cost situation and consequently reduce the time the aircraft is on ground for maintenance or corrective actions.

The SensWIRING project developed a wiring health monitoring, WHM, system. The main focus was on the development of smart sensor networks with wire defect detection and location functions, a low power embedded electronics, a wireless communication component. The development of the sensing technology that fits into the wire harness and fulfils their measurement functions properly is the main goal. Based on the project description of work (part B), the main objectives of the project are:

• Description of an integrated WHM system combining various techniques for wire health monitoring (defect/damage detection, location and severity);
• Development of miniaturised sensing solutions (smart sensors) for defect/damage diagnosis (detection, location, severity) on electrical wires;
• Integration of smart sensors for WHM into the wire harness;
• Integration of technologies for deployment of a WHM system allowing on-board monitoring: smart sensors, wireless sensors, data-driven diagnosis
• Demonstration of wireless sensor networks for WHM;
• Demonstration of the manufacturability of the smart devices for WHM;
• Demonstration of the handling of these devices.

In order to achieve these project objectives, the following approach was proposed:

• Identification and quantification of system goals, definition of concept of operations and technology base,
• requirements analysis,
• creation of alternative system design concepts,
• selection and implementation of the best design,
• verification & validation of the implemented solution for proper integration and meeting of the system goals

The developed technologies showed a high potential. Nevertheless, the verification tests were not fully fulfilled. The technologies are sensitive to temperature and bending. Also integration into harness was not fully achieved. The technologies are not yet ready for industrial application, being required additional work for more maturing the technology (TRL 3-4 was achieved). Main challenges still to address are related to: new substrates for SE and the optimization of their manufacturing; new solutions for integration of developed solutions on cables/harnesses; and the fully V&V of the technologies, according to established requirements.

Project Results:
Main S&T results of the project are:

WP1 - Project management & coordination

T1.1 – Project management
The project management activities included the project activities planning, meetings, actions lists, reporting, deliverables and milestones. The communication strategy inside the consortium was defined, making extensive use of ICT tools. Tools for project management were defined: platforms for common data sharing, structured project planning, items under configuration management, version and revision control rules. No results dissemination activities were performed as a patent is going to be submitted. The project sensWIRING was promoted (general goals; public information) by the partners.

T1.2 – Project monitoring & quality assurance
Tools for project monitoring and control were defined, including: project schedule, deliverables and milestones status, work performed. A specific project dashboard was defined. No budget problems were identified. Special care was devoted to the quality of the produced deliverables (reports).

T1.3 – Intellectual property rights & results dissemination
The Consortium Agreement was elaborated and signed by all the project partners. Results exploitation policy & Intellectual Properties Rights were defined. A patent will be submitted.

WP2 - Advanced studies & preliminary analysis

T2.1 Detailed state-of-the-art on WHM technologies
A detailed state-of-the-art on WHM and related technologies was done (D2.1 – Detailed description of the state-of-the-art). Main topics addressed on the state-of-the-art report are: Wiring systems and main failure mechanisms, Technologies for defect detection, Sensing technologies, Reflectometry methods, PASD (pulse arrested spark discharge, PD (partial discharge detection), Optical fibre sensing, Other sensing technologies, and Supporting technologies: energy harvesting, energy management, energy storage, communication networks. Main patents on WHM methods and systems were identified.

T2.2. Concepts of operation - ConOps
The concepts of operation, ConOps, of the WHM system was established (D2.2. – ConOps & system requirements), describing the system characteristics that meet the objectives established by the costumer/user and how the system will operate. The report includes: external systems interfaces, system boundaries and environments, operational policies and constrains, deployment and support environment, use cases & operation scenarios.

T2.3. High level requirements
The high level requirements, HLR, were defined (SW-HLR-001 to SW-HLR-35), together with the system requirements (SW-SRS-WHM-01 to SW-SRS-WHM-237). Both requirements are listed in the document SensWiring_SRS_REQ_Doc_v1.0.xls and D2.2. – ConOps & system requirements. A System Requirement Review meeting, SRR, took place.

WP3 - Concepts & technical proposition

T3.1 Development of technology concepts
Several concepts for the WHM system were developed (D3.1 – Concepts developments & selection).

Three main sensing technologies were selected for further development:
a) capacitive;
b) resistive; and
c) distributed sensing.

Proves-of-concepts prototypes of the technologies were developed and demonstrated.

T3.2 Technology concepts selection
The sensing technologies were compared in terms of their advantages and disadvantages, and their limitations. Capacitive and Resistive sensing were selected to enter the next project phase.

Advantages:
Capacitive technology
• Can support higher temperatures compared with the resistive and active sensor elements technologies;
• Easy way to manufacture of the sensor (just conducting elements are needed)
• Lower cost in the manufacture of the sensors;
• Is possible to measure the damage severity adding extra electrodes to the sensor.

Resistive technology
• The measurement of the resistance is easily and less susceptible to EMI interferences
• The sensors can be made in two different ways: adding resistive elements or using medium conductivity inks with very well controlled geometry along the printing process;
• Is possible to measure the damage severity adding extra sensing loops.

Active sensor elements technology
• Is possible to install in harness with several branches using splitters.
• Could be installed in long length cables
• Possibility to connect, loop wire, resistive or capacitive sensors on the network.
• High immunity to EMI and very reliable to the sensor system malfunctions.

Disadvantages:
Capacitive technology
• More sensitive to electrical noise, subject to interferences when the surround environment changes. More sensitive to humidity.
• One chafing fault in the sensor can causes different positions in the chafing monitoring (due the same value of capacitance);
• More than one chafing fault in the same line could not be detected simultaneously;
• Maximum length of sensors are lower than the other two techniques.

Resistive technology
• Need automaticcompensation due to the variation of temperature;
• More than one chafing fault in the same line could not be detected simultaneously.
• The manufacturing process is more complex, than capacitive sensors.

Active sensor elements technology
• The construction and integration is more complex;
• Need of electric power to supply the circuit to work properly;
• Limitations on the operating temperature (-40 to + 85 ºC)

T3.3 Systems requirements and high level design
The systems requirements and high level design were defined. These are listed in SensWiring_SRS_REQ_Doc_v1.0.xlsx. A Preliminary Design Review meeting, PDR, took place.

T3.4 Detail of actions plan
The test plan was built allowing the validation of established requirements. Each system requirement (SRS) has an associated test objective. The tests were performed in a given sequence (steps).The tests had a pass/fail criteria defined.

WP4 - Development of WHM technologies

T4.1 Detailed design: instrumentation & diagnosis methods
Resistive and capacitive SE were designed and developed. The developed SN is a very small device able to store some local data with a wireless communication interface, to exchange data to external devices. The new protocol Bluetooth 4.0 has a low power communications. Detailed design is reported in deliverable D4.1 – Detail design: instrumentation & diagnosis methods.

T4.2 Technologies development: sensing & health condition assessment. Based on the resistive and capacitive SE, sensing technologies for defect/damage sensing and wiring health condition assessment were developed.

T4.3 Building of proof-of-concept non-integrated prototypes
A proof-of-concept prototypes were built for each sensing technology, intent to electronic and functional validation (non-integrated prototypes). This was reported in D4.2 – Non-integrated prototypes and MS4 – Proof-of-concepts non-integrated prototypes.

T4.4 Technologies verification & validation
The developed technologies were verified and validated with respect to the predefined test plan. The results are reported in D4.3 – V&V test results & technology selection. The measurements of the electrical resistance of the printed sliver tracks are affected by the temperature, increasing with it. The measurements of the electrical resistance of the resistive SE are also affected by bending the SE. The effect of temperature is different between non-shielded and shielded capacitive SE: the former showed a linear increment of the electrical resistance with temperature. Spiral bending of the capacitive SE also affects the electrical capacitance of both capacitive SE, which can increase up to 6.5% (with shielding). These testes on the non-integrated prototypes gave important information about the implemented technologies and their sensitivities.

T4.5 Technology selection
A selection matrix was built, supporting the decision of best ranked concepts to be further developed. Capacitive and Resistive sensing modes were selected to enter the next project phase (integrated prototypes). A Critical Design Review meeting, CDR, took place (MS3 - CRR, Critical Design Review).

WP5 - Deployment of Integrated WHM system

T5.1 Verification of integration requirements
The integration requirements have been verified, ensuring compliance with current manufacturing technologies and accommodating design changes.

T5.2 Design of harness prototype with integrated sensor network
The harness with integrated sensors network for WHM was designed and materials and processes were selected. Several types of SE (resistive ad capacitive) were designed and then manufactured (PI substrate, Silver ink, screen printing in a R2R process). SE with different widths were manufactured. Installation of SE on the harness/cables by clamping and wrapping.

T5.3 Harness manufacturing and monitoring technologies
The manufacture of the SE was accomplished by R2R screen printing process, in which the ink is applied directly to the surface to be printed. The substrate was a polyimide film and the conductive layer was a conductor silver ink. All the designed SE were printed on a same film roll, thus decreasing the manufacturing costs. The procedure for installation of SE on the cables/harnesses was defined.

T5.4 Assembly of a functional integrated prototype
Several prototypes of the harness with integrated SE were manufactured.

T5.5 Technology verification & validation
The WHM technologies were verified and validated according to the predefined test plan (D5.3 - ADVT-2016-SWR-RPT 1, issue 1.0, sensWIRING: Validation and Verification Test Report). Not all the tests were performed and verified. A System Verification Review meeting, SVR, took place (MS5- SVR, System Verification Review).

WP6 - IWHM technology exploitation

T6.1 Potential technologies: wireless, energy harvesting
In this task were investigated and assessed critically the application of energy harvesting
technologies to the integrated WHM system. Analysed energy harvesting solutions were vibrations and thermal gradients (CMT-2016-SWR-RPT-2 Integration of an energy harvesting technology on developed solutions).

T6.2 Further developments of the technology
The sensWIRING project has developed a wiring health monitoring, WHM, system. The focus has been on the development of smart sensor networks with wire defect detection functions, a low power embedded electronics, a wireless communication component, a data acquisition and processing tool, a computing algorithm and a software application. The developed WHM has been prototyped and tested at ambient environment and at DO-160 environment conditions.
The deliverabçe 6.2 (Document-Ref.: ADVT-2016-SWR-RPT 2, issue 1.0, SensWIRING: Technology Perspective Plan) discusses the challenges posed to the sesneWIRING technology development, provides application landscape and proposes the next steps in the forward direction.
The measurement techniques of capacitive and resistive technology used for this project effectively detects chafing in ambient temperature. It was learnt during the project, however, that in extreme environment conditions, its performance is deteriorated. Also, the integration of developed prototype on cables for the two chosen measurement techniques lacks flexibility. The prototypes developed in the project are not yet ready for industrial application.

T6.3 Technology roadmap
This roadmap elaborates a technology roadmap of the developed WHM technology, identifying the technology needs and enablers and main R&D activities for the next 2-4 coming years.

Project activities leading beyond the state-of-the-art are in:
• Description of an integrated system combining various techniques for WHM: defect/damage detection, location and severity;
• Development of miniaturised sensing solutions (smart sensors) for defect/damage diagnosis on electrical wires; (SE, printed electronics))
• Integration of smart sensors for WHM into the wire harness; (Smart sensors integrated into prototype)
• Integration of technologies for deployment of a WHM system allowing on-board monitoring: smart sensors, wireless sensor networks, energy harvesting (EH), data-driven diagnosis (All integrated, with exception of EH)
• Demonstration of wireless sensor networks for WHM; (Non-integrated and integrated prototype. Demonstration)
• Demonstration of the manufacturability of the smart devices for WHM; (Demonstration: SE, SN)
• Demonstration of the handling of these devices.(Demonstration)

The following project objectives were achieved:

• Description of an integrated system combining various techniques for WHM: defect/damage detection, location and severity; Status: Fulfilled; The developed technologies were able to detect, locate and characterise chaffing in cables/harnesses.
• Development of miniaturised sensing solutions (smart sensors) for defect/damage diagnosis on electrical wires; Status: Fulfilled; SE were printed in flexible substrates of 60 μm, with electrical tracks of 1.02-1.27 mm and 8-10 μm thick, with lines separated by 1 mm. This allow detecting small chafing of 2x1 mm. Track size and distances can be smaller (minimum printing technology of 50-100 μm). Lighter solutions for SE may be envisaged (other materials, direct printing).
The sensor node size is currently determined by the battery, connector and PCB size (34.5x34.5 mm). PCB shall be redesigned. Packaging size can be reduced.
• Integration of smart sensors for WHM into the wire harness; Status: Not fulfilled; Integration solution was found not satisfactory. The smart sensors were integrated into a prototype, but the performance was poor, mainly due to the SE manufacturing process.
• Integration of technologies for deployment of a WHM system allowing on-board monitoring: smart sensors, wireless sensor networks, energy harvesting (EH), data-driven diagnosis; Status: Fulfilled; All integrated, with exception of EH.
• Demonstration of wireless sensor networks for WHM; Status: Fulfilled; Non-integrated and integrated prototypes demonstrated.
• Demonstration of the manufacturability of the smart devices for WHM; Status: Partially fulfilled; SE were manufacture by R2R rotary screen printing. In the specific case of resistive SE, the printing of carbon inks showed some variability. The manufacturing of capacitive SE technology can be improved. The manufacturing of resistive SE technology is not mature yet.
• Demonstration of the handling of these devices; Status: Fulfilled; Demonstration at ambient temperature.

The developed technologies shall be further developed and validated in terms of: effect of temperature; effect of bending; integration into harness. Energy harvesting solutions were analysed, but not implemented. The developed technologies are not yet ready for industrial application.

Potential Impact:
The monitoring techniques based on capacitive and resistive technologies developed in this project effectively detects and locates chafing at ambient temperature. Refinement of the solutions and further testing are still required. Technology is not yet ready for industrial application. Additional work is still required for a more mature technology. The developed technologies have a high potential for effective WHM system. The WHM technology is also applicable to other types of cables and devices. Main developments and evolutions of the technologies are related to:

1. New SN design (dimensions, printed patterns)
2. New SE materials (more flexible)
3. Optimization of SE manufacturing (dimensions control, reproducibility, ink cure)
4. Other solutions for integration of developed solutions on cables/harnesses
5. Productization of the developed technologies (SE installation, SE-SN connectors, SN installation)
6. Implement energy harvesting solutions

The developed WHM system has application and usage in several sectors. Aeronautical applications in power systems can be envisaged, e.g., engines, landing gears, high-voltage cables (230 V), circuit breakers, power systems. Besides the aeronautic sector, other applications can be thought. In all cases, the criticality of the cable and damage consequences need to be taken into consideration. Envisaged sectors and applications are:
• Automotive – power cables, electric car
• Railway – high speed trains, metro
• Energy sector – nuclear plants, offshore industry
• Equipment – elevators, lifts, critical manufacturing machines
• Special cables (optical, superconductor)

The developed technology has a high potential and the intellectual property will be protected. A comprehensive state-of-the-art of patented solutions for WHM has been made. Efforts will be made during 2016 to patent the developed technologies. All partners involved in the project will be authors and will share the patent, according to the consortium agreement. After patent submission, the project results will be disseminated in international conferences and international journals.

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CRITICAL MATERIALS SA
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