Fatigue-Free Platforms: Vision for Army Future Vertical Lift Aircraft
Dy D. Le, Army Research Laboratory, Vehicle Technology Directorate
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Engineering Research Center (ENGRC) 490 [map]
Refreshments will be served.
The goal for Army aviation platform sustainment is “zero-maintenance”. Scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army are exploring the underpinning science and technology that can be used to achieve this vision. Researchers from the Army Research Laboratory and Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center have recently developed a holistic system approach, “Virtual Risk-informed Aviation Maneuver Sustainment” (VRAMS), which integrates a wide range of technologies including the material “genome”, damage precursors, self-healing, real-time risk assessment, autonomous state awareness at the material level, and stress reduction methods. The Army science and technology efforts aim at:
- Developing superior materials.
- Understanding damage precursors and exploring advanced sensing strategies to detect them prior to the onset of microcracks or degradations.
- Advancing the capability for the intelligent self-repair of degrading components at the microscopic level before performance degradation and critical failure.
- Integrating in situ sensing elements and intelligent data collection with minimum hardware and wiring accessories.
- Developing a robust risk assessment capability and adaptive maneuvering limitations in real time to ensure acceptable stress levels to sustain “fatigue-free” structural components without maintenance over a desirable time intervals.
In 1972, Dy D. Le joined the Vietnam Air Force and became a pilot during the Vietnam War. From 1972-1974, he was trained at the Air Force Officer Training Center in Vietnam; Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; and Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In 1974, he was commissioned and received his aviator rotary-wing from Fort Rucker, returned to Vietnam, and served at Nha Trang Air Force Base. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Science. From 1986-1997, he was a Propulsion Research Engineer/Lead at the Naval Air Propulsion Center located in Trenton, New Jersey. From 1997-2008, he joined the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a program manager focusing on the rotorcraft damage tolerance/health and usage monitoring system research. From 2008-present, he is the Mechanics Division Chief from the ARL Vehicle Technology Directorate responsible for platform mechanics, reliability and diagnostics.
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