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RamaK.YEDAVALLI,RohitK.BELAPURKAR
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Received:October 18, 2010Revised:October 18, 2010
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Application of wireless sensor networks to aircraft control and health management systems
Rama K. YEDAVALLI,Rohit K. BELAPURKAR
(Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University)
Abstract:
Use of fly-by-wire technology for aircraft flight controls have resulted in an improved performance and reliability along with achieving reduction in control system weight. Implementation of full authority digital engine control has also resulted in more intelligent, reliable, light-weight aircraft engine control systems. Greater reduction in weight can be achieved by replacing the wire harness with a wireless communication network. The first step towards fly-by-wireless control systems is likely to be the introduction of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). WSNs are already finding a variety of applications for both safety-critical and nonsafety critical distributed systems. Some of the many potential benefits of using WSN for aircraft systems include weight reduction, ease of maintenance and an increased monitoring capability. This paper discusses the application of WSN for several aircraft systems such as distributed aircraft engine control, aircraft flight control, aircraft engine and structural health monitoring systems. A brief description of each system is presented along with a discussion on the technological challenges. Future research directions for application of WSN in aircraft systems are also discussed.
Key words:  Wireless sensor networks  Distributed turbine engine control  Fly-by-wireless  Aircraft engine health monitoring  Aircraft structural monitoring  Communication constraints