Technology transfer institute ISLI is set to demonstrate its ground-breaking work in advanced wireless sensor systems at the 2011 Aerospace, Aviation & Defence KTN Conference.
Delegates to the prestigious aviation event will be shown how ISLI’s development of new radio networking technology is supporting the emergence of a new generation of solutions to some age-old industry problems. Members of the research team will show how the institute is working with several key players from the UK aerospace industry within the WiTNESSS (Wireless Technologies for Novel Enhancement of Systems and structures Serviceability) collaborative project, founded to research and de-risk wireless data transmission technology for key testing and structural health monitoring applications in aero engines, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
Current aircraft instrumentation and test systems are linked by heavy and complex wiring harnesses which limit the locations and overall amount of data which can be collected. Using wireless (radio) technology instead of fixed wiring gives the potential to measure more parameters, save cost and weight and lead to lighter, more efficient future aircraft designs and quicker time-to-market.
Launched in August 2009, the WiTNESSS project is joint funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board and some of the aerospace industry’s leading companies. With iSLI playing a key technical role alongside other SMEs, OEMs and end users (Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, TRW Conekt, QinetiQ Ltd, QM Systems Limited, GE Aviation Systems Ltd, Bombardier Aerospace Belfast, HW Communications, AgustaWestland and Airbus), the consortium intends to deliver a range of commercial application demonstrators based on the new system by the end of 2011.
Although wireless devices are already common in the computer, industrial automation and mobile phone sectors using technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth, these are not designed to operate reliably in the harsh physical and electromagnetic environment found on an aircraft. The project will therefore find solutions to the challenges which currently prevent deployment on aircraft and, through a phased testing and demonstration programme, will prove the performance of the new wireless systems developed.
ISLI is delivering expertise in wireless systems architecture, design and implementation to meet the needs of complex, often competing, requirements and constraints in a highly challenging and regulated environment. ISLI will be delivering platform independent embedded network software which will provide coordination of widely differing data streams over the underlying ultra-wideband MAC and PHY. This will support the needs for improved Quality of Service, support efficient use of the data pipe and lay the groundwork for advanced synchronisation across the network.
Dr Mark Begbie, director of ISLI added: “This is a tremendously exciting project and we’re looking forward to discussing its implications with people from across the aerospace sector as this is just the beginning. Moving ahead we will be taking these elements forward to exploitation in further system implementations and are already actively seeking partners for further application development.”
ISLI will be at the WiTNESSS STAND NO10 at the 2011 Aerospace, Aviation & Defence KTN Conference, Magna Science Park, Rotherham on 20-21 September 2011.
The WiTNESSS project consortium is supported by a grant of £1.6M from the Technology Strategy Board, tackling the thematic area of capturing data in complex environments.