Planetary bearing defect detection in a commercial helicopter main gearbox with vibration and acoustic emission
Helicopter gearboxes significantly differ from other transmission types and exhibit unique behaviors that reduce the effectiveness of traditional fault diagnostics methods. In addition, due to lack of redundancy, helicopter transmission failure can lead to catastrophic accidents. Bearing faults in helicopter gearboxes are difficult to discriminate due to the low signal to noise ratio (SNR) in the presence of gear vibration. In addition, the vibration response from the planet gear bearings must be transmitted via a time-varying path through the ring gear to externally mounted accelerometers, which cause yet further bearing vibration signal suppression. This research programme has resulted in the successful proof of concept of a broadband wireless transmission sensor that incorporates power scavenging whilst operating within a helicopter gearbox. In addition, this paper investigates the application of signal separation techniques in detection of bearing faults within the epicyclic module of a large helicopter (CS-29) main gearbox using vibration and Acoustic Emissions (AE). It compares their effectiveness for various operating conditions. Three signal processing techniques including an adaptive filter, spectral kurtosis and envelope analysis, were combined for this investigation. In addition, this research discusses the feasibility of using AE for helicopter gearbox monitoring.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Elasha, F., Greaves, M. and Mba, D. (2017) Planetary bearing defect detection in a commercial helicopter main gearbox with vibration and acoustic emission. Structural Health Monitoring, 17 (5), pp. 1192-1212
Research Institute : Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes