Client: Navy (NAVSEA Washington Naval Yard)
The AGT 1500 engine developed by Honeywell for the M1 Ground Combat Vehicle is believed to suffer premature performance degradation due to ingestion of dust, sand, and FOD (Foreign Object Debris). TA was asked to determine the feasibility of using OEM and original engineering to provide an Embedded Dust Detector (EDD) suitable for near-term deployment aboard the M1 and other military vehicles.
TA performed a comprehensive analysis of the current state-of-the-art of particle monitoring technologies and developed a trade-space analysis to match these techniques to the specific needs of military vehicles and the M1. This work included detailed studies of the installation environment and development of prototype sensors. It was critical to the proposed application that the selected sensor have a low detection threshold (around 8.4E-5 g/cu.ft. of airborne dust above 5 microns in diameter) and rapid response time (less than 5 seconds optimum).
To evaluate candidate technologies in a mission-relevant scenario, TA developed a sampling tube with representative sensors for testing at Southwest Research Institute (SWRI). In addition, a laboratory particle counter was used. In three days of testing over one hundred flow, dust type, and injection rate test conditions were observed and recorded. In this testing each of the candidate technologies was capable of making the required measurement. However, the particle counter required the most re-configuration for isokinetic sampling and fouled the most easily. The in-line optical techniques were fouled with sufficient dirty water ingress, which could be encountered during fording operations with a modest plenum leak. An inductive loop sensor developed by TA operated almost ideally, detecting even small dust ingestion events and proving to be highly resistant to fouling.