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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 596506, 10 pages
Research Article

New Sensors and Techniques for the Structural Health Monitoring of Propulsion Systems

1National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA
2National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA

Received 15 April 2013; Accepted 6 June 2013

Academic Editors: D. Greatrix, C. Hajiyev, A. Kalfas, Y.-H. Li, and L. Massotti

Copyright © 2013 Mark Woike et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ability to monitor the structural health of the rotating components, especially in the hot sections of turbine engines, is of major interest to aero community in improving engine safety and reliability. The use of instrumentation for these applications remains very challenging. It requires sensors and techniques that are highly accurate, are able to operate in a high temperature environment, and can detect minute changes and hidden flaws before catastrophic events occur. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), through the Aviation Safety Program (AVSP), has taken a lead role in the development of new sensor technologies and techniques for the in situ structural health monitoring of gas turbine engines. This paper presents a summary of key results and findings obtained from three different structural health monitoring approaches that have been investigated. This includes evaluating the performance of a novel microwave blade tip clearance sensor; a vibration based crack detection technique using an externally mounted capacitive blade tip clearance sensor; and lastly the results of using data driven anomaly detection algorithms for detecting cracks in a rotating disk.