Skip to main content

An intelligent gearbox helps RACER safely take flight

10 June 2021

Monitoring the health of the main and lateral rotor gear boxes is a key priority for fast compound helicopters. 

The IGEAR project has developed a state-of-the-art health monitoring system for RACER. Attuned to the specific characteristics of the new rotorcraft, the intelligent gearbox combines information gleaned from multiple sensors, advanced data fusion and rule-based diagnoses to determine the health of the gearboxes. 

The technology pushes the boundaries of what was previously thought possible, developing a miniaturised solution capable of functioning in extreme environments. The sensors are packaged into a single small footprint, designed to fit on the limited flat areas on a commercial gearbox, ready for installation on the aircraft.

The developed health monitoring system is lightweight, in keeping with Clean Sky’s objectives, is designed to be long-lasting and will contribute to the increased safety during operation and to reduce maintenance. 

The gearbox rig allows rapid test of sensors and gears
The gearbox rig allows rapid test of sensors and gears

A test programme is currently in progress, which will validate the measurement chain and algorithms, but preliminary results have already confirmed the reliability of the system. 

IGEAR received € 471 855,69 from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The participating organisations were Cranfield University and Active Space Technologies, Actividades Aeroespacials S.A. 

 

Watch the videos of the test rig demonstrations below!

 

 

Sensors are packaged into a light weight assembly with a small footprint
Sensors are packaged into a light weight assembly with a small footprint