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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Health monitoring of new generation aircraft bearings

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The aim of this research is to develop an intelligent sensing system for health monitoring of hybrid bearings, based on advanced sensing and signal processing techniques.  The bearings consist of silicon nitride ball bearings with steel races.

The main sensing techniques include:

  • electrostatic monitoring - detecting the electrostatic charging associted with wear, located at the bearing itself as wear site sensors (WSS) and as oil line sensors detecting debris within the lubrication line
  • acoustic emission - a powerful technique that can be used to detect surface and subsurface contact behaviour

The objectives of the research are to investigate the tribological behaviours of the hybrid bearings under lubricated conditions; explore the correlations between wear mechanisms and their corresponding sensing signals; and develop advanced signal processing methods for the sensors to enable smart sensing of the hybrid bearings.

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