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Albuquerque, NM, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: MSI has an impressive history of developing aircraft propulsion system health monitoring systems. We have developed a new technology, a"smart connector"which reduces the size from a circuit card assembly to a small module that fits inside a rugged mil-spec 38999 propulsion system electrical connector. We have support of a military RPA propulsion system manufacturer and propose a SBIR effort that will prototype and demonstrate an embeddable Propulsion Health Management (PHM) approach utilizing the Smart Connector. Our focus will be to exploit the advanced diagnostic and prognostic algorithms used in Smart Connectors for PHM systems of military ground vehicles, and aircraft structural and avionic systems to legacy RPA propulsion systems, controls, and vehicles operated under harsh or off-design conditions. BENEFIT: The use of RPA by the military and commercial has increased over time as they assuming greater operational roles CONUS and OCONUS. Because of its low weight and cost dual use applications for the embedded technology will have large dual use potential. For the military applications include RPA with small and Large RPA Engines. For commercial and non-defense the product will have application in drones, RPA and heavy lift unmanned helicopters used by law enforcement, search and rescue, oil and gas companies, and many more that employ or will employ RPA with large engines. The technology is not limited to unmanned aircraft and has similar application to ground and on-line commercial aircraft PHM Systems.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.99K | Year: 2014

Tyco Electronics Connectivity Defense and Aerospace (TE) is a leading supplier of mil-spec fiber optic (FO) connectors used in ship"s wiring plants, In a Navy SBIR, our company, Management Sciences, Inc. (MSI) worked with TE and developed a portable automated test equipment (ATE) for fast and efficient troubleshooting of harnesses. The portable ATE operates at the rate of about 4 seconds per conduit compared to several minutes for single conduit testers. We propose research leading to production of an automated inspection system that automatically inspects, tests, and documents fiber optic (FO) conduits of a ship"s cable plant. The technology will interface to FO cable connectors and automatically inspect for factory and installation defects. This new technology shall include all necessary instrumentation for operating as an automated system that inspects and documents the location and nature of the fiber optic wiring plant problems or defects. (A separate proposal is presented for inspecting electrical wiring plants which have an entirely different problem space.)

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: The Air Force is facing severe budget cuts which force the need to cut operating costs of aircraft and manpower. One way to do this is to increase reliability of systems and components which would reduce maintenance and increase operational availability, which reduces the number of aircraft needed to complete missions. The Air Force desires a new prognostic health management (PHM) approach that applies advanced diagnostic and prognostic algorithms to systems and components of vehicles operated under harsh or off-design conditions typical of military platforms. In Phase I, MSI developed and prototyped a PHM system that will provide accurate prognosis of propulsion system health and, as much as possible, preempt loss of control, in-flight shutdowns and cut down on false removals and maintenance time caused by inadequate information from the aircraft. The demonstration included real time data collection, signal conditioning, cognitive processing, and data offload from the EPIC; and probabilistic decision support information for maintenance troubleshooting assists. The RTS operating engineer flew simulated missions and seeded faults that typical of hard to isolate problems experienced in RPA propulsion systems. All the seeded faults introduced by the Rolls-Royce RTS engineer were successfully identified. BENEFIT: The COSMOS PHMS three tier approach, implemented with passive embedded processing nodes offers cost effective advantages that go beyond data recording to provide in-flight diagnostics and prognostics and also support O-level troubleshooting and data mining of fleet data. Being on-board and real time COSMOS can programmed to alert the maintainers not only of the diagnosed cause of a red tag events but also predict probabilistically the progress of degradation of components to indicate those what actions can be taken to preempt future failures. The probabilistic information from the COSMOS PHMS will also provide actionable decision support during maintenance by providing diagnostics and backup data. COSMOS will provide root cause analyses to wiring electrical or other cause which will reduce No Fault Found. COSMOS PHMS will improve existing logistic support processes by providing information not currently available. All this translates to reduced maintenance time, lower operating costs and higher operational availability.

Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 89.99K | Year: 2014

Millions of heat pumps are used to heat and cool homes and buildings year round. Continuous operation means that components wear out at a greater rate. As a result, maintenance of residential heat pumps is a major cost driver. Current methods focus on reduced use through control settings. Typically, demand has wide swings throughout the day and people are unable to customize controls. Inevitably, energy is wasted until a fault is discovered and a maintenance technician replaces a faulty part. MSI’s patented user-programmable microcontroller module performs sensor data monitoring, datalogging, processing, control, and communications to smartphones and tablets. We propose to exploit this technology for increasing the efficiency of heat pumps and reducing maintenance costs by aggressive goal-seeking control and simultaneous real time monitoring for stresses, degradation, and equipment faults using deductive modeling. Our product vision is an easy-to-install, plug-and-play kit that connects to the existing equipment and household sensors. In Phase I, MSI will start with a cloud demonstration of the current technology in action at our current off-the-grid demonstration site. Next, we will perform research and value engineering to architect and produce a small, form factor prototype specifically for improving heat pump performance, safety, reliability, and ownership costs.

Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 299.99K | Year: 2015

During Phase I, Management Sciences, Inc. (MSI) proved feasibility of adapting their current technology into a product capable of improving performance resulting in increased efficiency and extended life cycles of heat pumps. The resultant product is a tool named the Heat Pump Sentient (HP-Sentient). The HP-Sentient will improve performance and reduce maintenance costs through aggressive goal-seeking control and simultaneous real time monitoring for stresses, degradation, and equipment faults using deductive modeling. In Phase II, MSI will produce an easy-to-install, plug-and-play kit that connects to existing heat pumps that will sell for about $100 in production quantities.

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