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Cracks and loose fasteners are continuing structural problems on H-60 helicopters, resulting in unexpected downtime to repair/replace structures. This reduces availability to the war-fighter, increases risk, and is expensive and time consuming. TRI Austin developed an embedded system that can provide early detection and assessment of loose fasteners and strain, allowing planned repairs and mitigating problems. Our Large Area Health Monitoring Processor (LAHMP) family of systems provides low power, lightweight, wireless, embedded and rugged sensor data collection, storage and transceiver interfaces.

The LAHMP systems are rugged, versatile, embeddable and provides monitoring of large areas with just a few COTS sensors. We have adapted a previous LAHMP system designed for fixed wing architectures to monitor rotorcraft structures, specifically to measure strain and detect loose fasteners in UH-60 structures. This system is battery powered; communicates wirelessly over a 2.4GHz mesh network; small and lightweight; and maximizes the use of COTS components. We continue addressing ruggedization; long term reliability and battery life; and other system improvements. Each LAHMP system can be mounted on structures prone to damage and collects data from several strain gauges and sensors, allowing large area detection of loose fasteners. The gathered data is then available on demand for WiFi enabled devices.

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