(19)
(11)EP 3 291 570 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
24.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/26

(21)Application number: 17188883.7

(22)Date of filing:  31.08.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H04Q 9/00  (2006.01)

(54)

REMOTE COMMUNICATION AND POWERED SENSING / CONTROL / IDENTIFICATION DEVICES

FERNKOMMUNIKATION- UND ANGETRIEBENE MESS-/STEUERUNGS-/IDENTIFIZIERUNGSVORRICHTUNGEN

DISPOSITIFS D'IDENTIFICATION/DE COMMANDE/DÉTECTION MOTORISÉES ET DE COMMUNICATION À DISTANCE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 02.09.2016 US 201615255345

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.03.2018 Bulletin 2018/10

(73)Proprietor: United Technologies Corporation
Farmington, CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • SOBANSKI, Kurt J.
    Glastonbury, CT 06033 (US)
  • MANTESE, Joseph V.
    Ellington, CT 06029 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 913 808
WO-A1-2015/130563
US-A1- 2010 049 377
WO-A1-2015/073852
GB-A- 886 127
US-B2- 7 464 603
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] This disclosure relates to electromagnetic communication, and more particularly to remote communication to and from and powering of sensing / control / identification devices.

    [0002] A gas turbine engine typically includes a fan section, a compressor section, a combustor section and a turbine section. Air entering the compressor section is compressed and delivered into the combustor section where it is mixed with fuel and ignited to generate a high-speed exhaust gas flow. The high-speed exhaust gas flow expands through the turbine section to drive the compressor and the fan section. The compressor section typically includes low and high pressure compressors, and the turbine section includes low and high pressure turbines.

    [0003] Detailed knowledge of gas turbine engine and other machinery operation for control or health monitoring requires sensing systems that need information from locations that are sometimes difficult to access due to moving parts, internal operating environment or machine configuration. The access limitations make wire routing bulky, expensive, and vulnerable to interconnect failures. The sensor and interconnect operating environments for desired sensor locations often exceed the capability of the interconnect systems. In some cases, cable cost, volume, and weight exceed the desired limits for practical applications.

    [0004] Application of electromagnetic sensor technologies to address the wiring constraints faces the challenge of providing reliable communications in a potentially unknown environment with potential interference from internal or external sources.

    [0005] EP 2913808 A1 discloses a control and health monitoring system which communicates with sensors through optic fibers. The optic fibers and some of the sensors may be at least partially surrounded by a protected channel.

    [0006] WO 2015/130563 A1 discloses a protected wireless network in which shielding is provided around subsystem components and a transmission path between the components and a remote processing unit. US 2010/049377 A1 discloses a shielded antenna and an energy harvesting sensor. GB 886127 A discloses a radio transmitter within a shielding casing.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION



    [0007] Viewed from one aspect the present invention provides a sensing / control / identification device of a machine, according to claim. 1.

    [0008] In an embodiment, sensing / control / identification devices of machines are provided. The devices include a shielding defining a shielded volume, a rectification and power conditioning module within the shielded volume and configured to receive electromagnetic (EM) transmissions from an EM transmitting source and convert said EM transmissions to electrical power, a communication interface module within the shielded volume and configured to receive power from the rectification and power conditioning module and at least one of receive the EM transmissions or transmit EM communications, and a control module within the shielded volume and configured to at least one of (i) receive the EM transmissions from the communication interface for processing or prepare the EM communications for transmission from the communication interface module and (ii) communicate with a remote sensor of the machine. The device includes a power output module configured to distribute the electrical power from the rectification and power conditioning module to an electromechanical device.

    [0009] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the device may include a storage module within the shielded volume, wherein the control module is configured to at least one of read from or write to the storage module.

    [0010] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the device the storage module may include at least one of (i) programs and/or applications to be executed by the control module, (ii) identification data associated with the device, (iii) historical data associated with the device, (iv) characterization curves associated with the machine, (v) an engine installation, (vi) flight profiles, or (vii) environmental data.

    [0011] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the device may include a sensor circuit module configured to interface between a remote sensor and the control module.

    [0012] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the device may include a conversion module configured to convert a signal from the external signal to a signal to be processed by the control module.

    [0013] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the device the sensor circuit module and the conversion module may be configured to convert an analogue signal received from the remote sensor to a digital signal to be processed by the control module.

    [0014] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the device may include a control output module operably connected to the control module and configured to process and convert instructions or commands from the control module into an output signal and transmit said output signal.

    [0015] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the device the rectification and power conditioning module, the communication interface module, and the control module may all be configured on a single printed circuit board or highly integrated system in a package (SIP).

    [0016] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the device the printed circuit board or highly integrated system in a package (SIP) may include an on-chip antenna.

    [0017] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the device may include a power bus, a power conditioning circuit, and at least one power switching device configured to switch or modulate the power to the electromechanical device.

    [0018] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the device the electromechanical device may be an electro-hydraulic servo valve, a direct drive valve, or a solenoid.

    [0019] According to an embodiment, systems for gas turbine engines are provided. The systems include a component, a remote sensor operably connected to the component, an electromagnetic (EM) transmitting source located remote from the component, and a sensing / control / identification device configured on or proximate to the component. The sensing / control / identification device includes a shielding defining a shielded volume, a rectification and power conditioning module within the shielded volume and configured to receive EM transmissions from an EM transmitting source and convert said EM transmissions to electrical power, a communication interface module within the shielded volume and configured to receive power from the rectification and power conditioning module and at least one of receive the EM transmissions or transmit EM communications, and a control module within the shielded volume and configured to at least one of (i) receive the EM transmissions from the communication interface for processing or prepare the EM communications for transmission from the communication interface module and (ii) communicate with the remote sensor. The system includes a control output module operably connected to the control module and configured to process and convert instructions or commands from the control module into an output signal and transmit said output signal.

    [0020] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the system the sensing / control / identification device may further include a storage module within the shielded volume, wherein the control module is configured to at least one of read from or write to the storage module.

    [0021] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the system the storage module may include at least one of (i) programs and/or applications to be executed by the control module, (ii) identification data associated with at least one of the device or the component, (iii) historical data associated with at least one of the device or the component, (iv) characterization curves associated with the machine, (v) an engine installation, (vi) flight profiles, or (vii) environmental data.

    [0022] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the system the rectification and power conditioning module, the communication interface module, and the control module may all be configured on a single printed circuit board or highly integrated system in a package (SIP) including an on-chip antenna.

    [0023] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the system may include a power output module configured to distribute the electrical power from the rectification and power conditioning module to an electromechanical device associated with the component.

    [0024] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, further embodiments of the system may include a power bus, a power conditioning circuit, and at least one power switching device configured to switch or modulate the power to the electromechanical device.

    [0025] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative to any of the foregoing embodiments, in further embodiments of the system the electromechanical device may be an electro-hydraulic servo valve, a direct drive valve, or a solenoid.

    [0026] A technical effect of the apparatus, systems, and methods is achieved by remotely powering and communicating with sensing / control / identification devices using electromagnetic (EM) transmission as described herein.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0027] The subject matter which is regarded as the present disclosure is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present disclosure are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

    FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a gas turbine engine;

    FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an example control and health monitoring system including a shielded electromagnetic network in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

    FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a communication path through a component in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

    FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a waveguide in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

    FIG. 5 is a schematic view of another waveguide in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure; and

    FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a sensing / control / identification device configuration in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present disclosure;

    FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of another sensing / control / identification device configuration in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present disclosure;

    FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of a sensing / control / identification device configuration in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention; and

    FIG. 9 is a schematic illustration of an on-chip antenna employed with embodiments of the present disclosure.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0028] Various embodiments of the present disclosure are related to electromagnetic communication in a machine. FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a gas turbine engine 20 as one example of a machine as further described herein. The gas turbine engine 20 is depicted as a two-spool turbofan that generally incorporates a fan section 22, a compressor section 24, a combustor section 26 and a turbine section 28. Alternative engines may include an augmentor section (not shown) among other systems or features. The fan section 22 drives air along a bypass flow path B in a bypass duct to provide a majority of the thrust, while the compressor section 24 drives air along a core flow path C for compression and communication into the combustor section 26 then expansion through the turbine section 28. Although depicted as a two-spool turbofan gas turbine engine in the disclosed non-limiting embodiment, it should be understood that the concepts described herein are not limited to use with two-spool turbofans as the teachings may be applied to other types of turbine engines including three-spool architectures or any other machine that requires sensors to operate with similar environmental challenges or constraints. Additionally, the concepts described herein may be applied to any machine or system comprised of control and / or health monitoring systems.

    [0029] The exemplary engine 20 generally includes a low speed spool 30 and a high speed spool 32 mounted for rotation about an engine central longitudinal axis A relative to an engine static structure 36 via several bearing systems 38. It should be understood that various bearing systems 38 at various locations may alternatively or additionally be provided, and the location of bearing systems 38 may be varied as appropriate to the application.

    [0030] The low speed spool 30 generally includes an inner shaft 40 that interconnects a fan 42, a first (or low) pressure compressor 44 and a first (or low) pressure turbine 46. The inner shaft 40 is connected to the fan 42 through a speed change mechanism, which in exemplary gas turbine engine 20 is illustrated as a geared architecture 48 to drive the fan 42 at a lower speed than the low speed spool 30. The high speed spool 32 includes an outer shaft 50 that interconnects a second (or high) pressure compressor 52 and a second (or high) pressure turbine 54. A combustor 56 is arranged in exemplary gas turbine engine 20 between the high pressure compressor 52 and the high pressure turbine 54. A mid-turbine frame 58 of the engine static structure 36 is arranged generally between the high pressure turbine 54 and the low pressure turbine 46. The mid-turbine frame 58 further supports bearing systems 38 in the turbine section 28. The inner shaft 40 and the outer shaft 50 are concentric and rotate via bearing systems 38 about the engine central longitudinal axis A which is collinear with their longitudinal axes.

    [0031] The core airflow is compressed by the low pressure compressor 44 then the high pressure compressor 52, mixed and burned with fuel in the combustor 56, then expanded over the high pressure turbine 54 and low pressure turbine 46. The mid-turbine frame 58 includes airfoils 60 which are in the core airflow path C. The turbines 46, 54 rotationally drive the respective low speed spool 30 and high speed spool 32 in response to the expansion. It will be appreciated that each of the positions of the fan section 22, compressor section 24, combustor section 26, turbine section 28, and fan drive gear system 48 may be varied. For example, gear system 48 may be located aft of combustor section 26 or even aft of turbine section 28, and fan section 22 may be positioned forward or aft of the location of gear system 48.

    [0032] The engine 20 in one example is a high-bypass geared aircraft engine. In a further example, the engine 20 bypass ratio is greater than about six (6), with an example embodiment being greater than about ten (10), the geared architecture 48 is an epicyclic gear train, such as a planetary gear system or other gear system, with a gear reduction ratio of greater than about 2.3 and the low pressure turbine 46 has a pressure ratio that is greater than about five. In one disclosed embodiment, the engine 20 bypass ratio is greater than about ten (10:1), the fan diameter is significantly larger than that of the low pressure compressor 44, and the low pressure turbine 46 has a pressure ratio that is greater than about five 5:1. Low pressure turbine 46 pressure ratio is pressure measured prior to inlet of low pressure turbine 46 as related to the pressure at the outlet of the low pressure turbine 46 prior to an exhaust nozzle. The geared architecture 48 may be an epicycle gear train, such as a planetary gear system or other gear system, with a gear reduction ratio of greater than about 2.3:1. It should be understood, however, that the above parameters are only exemplary of one embodiment of a geared architecture engine and that the present invention is applicable to other gas turbine engines including direct drive turbofans.

    [0033] A significant amount of thrust is provided by the bypass flow B due to the high bypass ratio. The fan section 22 of the engine 20 is designed for a particular flight condition - typically cruise at about 0.8 Mach and about 35,000 feet (about 10,700 m). The flight condition of 0.8 Mach and 35,000 ft (10,700 m), with the engine at its best fuel consumption - also known as "bucket cruise Thrust Specific Fuel Consumption ('TSFC')" - is the industry standard parameter of Ibm of fuel being burned divided by Ibf of thrust the engine produces at that minimum point. "Low fan pressure ratio" is the pressure ratio across the fan blade alone, without a Fan Exit Guide Vane ("FEGV") system. The low fan pressure ratio as disclosed herein according to one non-limiting embodiment is less than about 1.45. "Low corrected fan tip speed" is the actual fan tip speed in ft/sec divided by an industry standard temperature correction of [(Tram °R) / (518.7 °R)]0.5. The "Low corrected fan tip speed" as disclosed herein according to one non-limiting embodiment is less than about 1150 ft/second (350 m/second).

    [0034] The example gas turbine engine includes the fan 42 that comprises in one non-limiting embodiment less than about twenty-six (26) fan blades. In another non-limiting embodiment, the fan section 22 includes less than about twenty (20) fan blades. Moreover, in one disclosed embodiment the low pressure turbine 46 includes no more than about six (6) turbine rotors schematically indicated at 34. In another non-limiting example embodiment the low pressure turbine 46 includes about three (3) turbine rotors. A ratio between the number of fan blades 42 and the number of low pressure turbine rotors is between about 3.3 and about 8.6. The example low pressure turbine 46 provides the driving power to rotate the fan section 22 and therefore the relationship between the number of turbine rotors 34 in the low pressure turbine 46 and the number of blades 42 in the fan section 22 disclose an example gas turbine engine 20 with increased power transfer efficiency.

    [0035] The disclosed example gas turbine engine 20 includes a control and health monitoring system 64 (generally referred to as system 64) utilized to monitor component performance and function. In this example, a sensing / control / identification device (SCID) 68A is located within a sub-system component (SSC) 70. The SCID 68A communicates with electromagnetic energy to a remote processing unit (RPU) 66 through a path comprised of a transmission path 78 and a path 62 within a SSC 70 as best seen in FIG. 2. The path may also be extended along one or more shielded paths 72 to remote SCIDs 68B in separate SSCs 74 (FIG. 2). This entire path (e.g., transmission path 78, path 62, and shielded paths 72) comprises a shielded electromagnetic network (SEN) 65. The RPU 66 may transmit signals to a network 71 of the SCID 68A, 68B (FIG. 2) and / or receive information indicative of current operation of the component being monitored. The transmission media for any portion of the SEN 65 may include solid, liquid, or gaseous material. In this example, a pressure internal to the SSC 70 is monitored and that information transmitted through the path 62 of the SEN 65 to the RPU 66 for use in controlling engine operation or monitoring component health. However, it should be understood that it is within the contemplation of this disclosure that the disclosed system 64 may be utilized to control and / or monitor any component function or characteristic of a turbomachine or aircraft component operation and / or other machines.

    [0036] Prior control and diagnostic system architectures utilized in various applications include centralized system architecture in which the processing functions reside in an electronic control module. Redundancy to accommodate failures and continue system operation systems are provided with dual channels with functionality replicated in both control channels. Actuator and sensor communication is accomplished through analogue wiring for power, command, position feedback, sensor excitation and sensor signals. Cables and connections include shielding to minimize effects caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI). The use of analogue wiring and the required connections limits application and capability of such systems due to the ability to locate wires, connectors, and electronics in small and harsh environments that experience extremes in temperature, pressure, and/or vibration.

    [0037] Referring to FIG. 2, system 64 includes SEN 65 installed near, in, or on each of several SSCs 70A-C, as examples of the SSC 70 of FIG. 1. Each of the SSCs 70A-C may be an engine component, actuator, or any other machine part from which information and communication is performed for monitoring and/or control purposes. In this example, each of the SSCs 70A-C includes a path 62 of the SEN 65 that is the primary means of communicating with one or multiple features of the particular SSC 70A-C or remotely located SSCs 74. The remotely located SSCs 74 may contain a single or multiple electronic circuits or sensors configured to communicate over the SEN 65.

    [0038] The RPU 66 sends and receives power and data to and from the SSCs 70A-C and may also provide a communication link between different SSCs 70A-C. The RPU 66 may be located on equipment near other system components or located remotely as desired to meet application requirements.

    [0039] A transmission path (TP) 78 between the RPU 66 and SSCs 70A-C is used to send and receive data routed through the RPU 66 from a control module or other components. The TP 78 may utilize electrical wire, optic fibre, waveguide, or any other electromagnetic communication including radio frequency / microwave electromagnetic energy, visible, or non-visible light. The interface between the TP 78 and SSC 70A-C transmits power and signals received through the TP 78 to one or multiple SCIDs 68A in the example SSC 70A.

    [0040] The example SCIDs 68A, 68B may be radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices that include processing, memory, and / or the ability to connect to conventional sensors or effectors such as solenoids or electro-hydraulic servo valves. The SSC 70A may contain radio frequency (R/F) antennas, magnetic devices, or optic paths designed to be powered and/or communicate to and / or from the TP 78 paths. The SSCs 70A-C may also use shielded paths 72 that can be configured as any type of electromagnetic communication, including, for instance, radio frequency, microwaves, magnetic, or optic waveguide transmission to the SCIDs 68B located within the remotely located SSCs 74.

    [0041] Shielding 84 within and around the SSC 70A is provided such that electromagnetic energy or light interference 85 with electromagnetic signals 86 (shown schematically as arrows) within the SSC 70A are mitigated. Moreover, the shielding 84 provides that the signals 86 are less likely to propagate into the environment outside the SSC 70A and enable unauthorized access to information. Similarly, remotely located SSCs 74 can each include respective shielding 76 to limit signal propagation to shielded paths 72. In some embodiments, confined electromagnetic radiation is in the range 1 - 100 GHz. Electromagnetic radiation can be more tightly confined around specific carrier frequencies, such as 3 - 4.5 GHz, 24 GHz, 60 GHz, or 76 - 77 GHz as examples in the microwave spectrum. A carrier frequency can transmit electric power, as well as communicate information, to multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B using various modulation and signalling techniques.

    [0042] RFID, electromagnetic, or optical devices implemented as the SCIDs 68A, 68B can provide information indicative of a physical parameter, such as pressure, temperature, speed, proximity, vibration, identification, and / or other parameters used for identifying, monitoring, and/or controlling component operation. The SCIDs 68A, 68B may also include control devices such as a solenoid, switch, or other physical actuation devices. Signals communicated over the TP 78 may employ techniques such as checksums, hash algorithms, shielding, and / or encryption to mitigate cyber security threats and interference.

    [0043] The disclosed system 64 containing the SEN 65 (e.g., transmission path 78, path 62, and shielded paths 72) provides a communication link between the RPU 66 and multiple SSCs 70A-C, 74. The shielding 84, 76 can be provided along the transmission path 78 and for each SSC 70A-C and 74 such that power and communication signals are shielded from outside interference, which may be caused by environmental electromagnetic or optic interference. Moreover, the shielding 84, 76 prevents intentional interference 85 with communication at each component. Intentional interference 85 may take the form of unauthorized data capture, data insertion, general disruption, and/or any other action that degrades system communication. Environmental sources of interference 85 may originate from noise generated from proximate electrical systems in other components or machinery along with electrostatic fields, and/or any broadcast signals from transmitters or receivers. Additionally, pure environmental phenomena, such as cosmic radio frequency radiation, lightning, or other atmospheric effects could interfere with local electromagnetic communications. Accordingly, the individualized shielding 84, 76 for each of the SSCs 70A-C and 74 prevent the undesired interference with communication. The shielding 84, 76 may be applied to enclosed or semi-enclosed volumes that contain the SCIDs 68.

    [0044] It should be appreciated that while the system 64 is explained by way of example with regard to a gas turbine engine 20, other machines and machine designs can be modified to incorporate built-in shielding for each monitored or controlled components to enable the use of a SEN. For example, the system 64 can be incorporated in a variety of harsh environment machines, such as an elevator system, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, manufacturing and processing equipment, a vehicle system, an environmental control system, and all the like. The disclosed system 64 includes the SEN 65 that enables consistent communication with electromagnetic devices, such as the example SCIDs 68A, 68B, and removes variables encountered with electromagnetic communications such as distance between transmitters and receiving devices, physical geometry in the field of transmission, control over transmission media such as air or fluids, control over air or fluid contamination through the use of filtering, or isolation and knowledge of temperature and pressure.

    [0045] The system 64 provides for localized transmission to SCIDs 68A, 68B such that power requirements are reduced. Localized transmission occurs within a shielded volume of each SSC 70A-C, 74 that is designed specifically to accommodate reliable electromagnetic transmission for the application specific environment and configuration. Shielding of localized components is provided such that electromagnetic signals are contained within the shielding 84 for a specific instance of the SSC 70A-C. The system 64 therefore enables communication with one or multiple SCIDs 68 simultaneously. The example RPU 66 enables sending and receiving of power and data between several different SSCs 70A-C and 74. The RPU 66 may be located on the equipment near other system components or located away from the machinery for any number of reasons.

    [0046] The system 64 provides for a reduction in cable and interconnecting systems to reduce cost and increases reliability by reducing the number of physical interconnections. Reductions in cable and connecting systems further provides for a reduction in weight while enabling additional redundancy without significantly increasing cost. Moreover, additional sensors can be added without the need for additional wiring and connections that provide for increased system accuracy and response. Finally, the embodiments enable a "plug-n-play" approach to add a new SCID, potentially without a requalification of the entire system but only the new component; thereby greatly reducing qualification costs and time.

    [0047] The TP 78 between the RPU 66 and the SSCs 70A-C utilized to send and receive data from other components may take multiple forms such as electrical wire, optic fibre, radio frequency signals or energy within the visible or non-visible light spectrum. The numerous options for a communication path of the TP 78 enable additional design flexibility. The TP 78 transfers energy to the SSC 70A-C such that one or multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B can be multiplexed over one TP 78 to the RPU 66.

    [0048] SCIDs 68A, 68B can include RFID devices that may or may not include processing, memory, and/or the ability to connect to conventional sensors. Radio frequency (R/F) antennas, magnetic devices, or optic paths within the SSCs 70A-C may be designed to communicate with one or multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B. Moreover, R/F, microwave, magnetic, or optic waveguide transmission paths 72 can be utilized to communicate with individual electromagnetic devices remotely located from the SSC 70A-C.

    [0049] Shielding 84, 76 within and around the SSC 70A-C, 74 substantially prevents electromagnetic energy or light interference with signals and also makes it less likely that signals can propagate into the surrounding environment to prevent unauthorized access to information.

    [0050] According to embodiments, electromagnetic (EM) communication with the system 64 can be performed through multi-material and functional / structural components including, for instance, fuel, oil, engineered dielectrics, and enclosed free spaces. By forming waveguides through existing machine components and using electromagnetic communication for one or more of the TP 78, path 62, and / or shielded paths 72, system contaminants and waveguide size for given frequencies can be reduced.

    [0051] In embodiments, existing components of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1 can be used to act as waveguides filled with air, fluids, or a specifically implemented dielectric to transmit EM energy for writing and reading to/from EM devices in a Faraday cage protected environment. Use of existing structure can allow waveguide channels to be built in at the time of manufacture by machining passages or additively manufacturing waveguide channels as communication paths. For example, communication paths can be built into the structure of SSCs 70A-C and 74 to guide EM energy through each component. The SSCs 70A-C and 74 may contain gas such as air at atmospheric pressure or any other level, or liquids such as oil or fuel. In any part of the system 64, a dielectric may be employed to resist contamination or to reduce requirements for waveguide dimensions.

    [0052] Various machine components may also be used for transmission if the proper waveguide geometry is designed into the component, which can also provide functional and structural aspects of the machine. Examples, such as machine housings, fluid (including air) fill tubes, hydraulic lines, support frames and members, internal machine parts and moving parts that can be coupled to or shaped into waveguide geometry may also be incorporated in embodiments. As one example, FIGS. 2 and 3 depict a plurality of compressor vane segments 104 of the compressor section 24 of FIG. 1 that incorporate one or more communication paths 102 integrally formed in/on a component of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1. Each communication path 102 can route a portion of electromagnetic signals communicated from the TP 78 to one or more of the SCIDs 68 of FIG. 3. Each communication path 102 also provides a potentially alternate route in which the electromagnetic signal can be channelled in the event of a line or linkage failure, thereby building in inherent redundancy and system level robustness.

    [0053] In the example of FIG. 3, a compressor vane segment 104 includes an arcuate outer vane platform segment 106 and an arcuate inner vane platform segment 108 radially spaced apart from each other. The arcuate outer vane platform segment 106 may form an outer portion and the arcuate inner vane platform segment 108 may form an inner portion to at least partially define an annular compressor vane flow path.

    [0054] Communication path 102 in a vane 112 can be formed during a manufacturing process to directly carry electromagnetic signalling of the TP 78 through a component of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1 directly to a SCID 68 depicted in FIG. 3. Communication path 102 can also terminate with SCIDs 68 to read pressures, temperatures, or other parameters at the end of the TP 78 or 72. Waveguide usage can enable very low transmission losses such that the RPU 66 of FIG. 2 can be physically located much farther away from the SCIDs 68A, 68B of FIG. 2 than conventional free space transmitting devices. Use of a dielectric in the waveguides can reduce the dimensional requirements for the waveguides and resist contaminants, such as moisture, particles, gases, corrosion, and/or liquids that may increase transmission losses. Embodiments can use fluids in existing systems to act as a dielectric, particularly fluids with a dielectric constant that approaches or is better than free space. Thus, existing fuel or oil lines of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1 may be used as waveguides if they have appropriate dielectric properties.

    [0055] Further embodiments include allowing transition of EM energy from a waveguide into a free space environment. Some of the SSCs 70A-C, 74 of FIG. 2 have multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B that reside in a protected Faraday cage (e.g., a shielded volume within shielding 84, 76) filled with air or other fluids. Transitioning energy from a waveguide to and from an open cavity is required to prevent unwanted signal loss. Embodiments transition EM energy from TP 78 into a free space environment containing either air or a fluid within shielding 84 of SSC 70A of FIG. 2 using an example waveguide 200 of FIG. 4. The waveguide 200 may be an embodiment of the TP 78 or the shielded path 72 of FIG. 2. In some embodiments, EM energy transitions through multiple interfaces having different environmental characteristics, such as waveguide 250 of FIG. 5 as a further example of the shielded path 72 of FIG. 2. Waveguides 200, 250 can connect multiple SCIDs 68 and may pass through existing components, for instance, in communication path 102 of FIG. 3, to facilitate transmission of EM power and signalling between devices. The waveguides 200, 250 may incorporate "T"s, "Y"s, splitters or other branching types to facilitate a network topology.

    [0056] EM energy may be confined to a waveguide, or alternatively can be transmitted through a combination of waveguide and free space communications in a shielded environment, e.g., within shielding 84, 76 of FIG. 2, to meet system requirements for signal attenuation and disturbances. Waveguide 200 of FIG. 4 can include a waveguide transmitter interface 202 that enables electromagnetic signal transmission within a waveguide medium or electromagnetic window 204 in a guidance structure 206 to a waveguide transition interface 208. The waveguide transmitter interface 202 may be an EM energy emitter, and the waveguide transition interface 208 may be operable to pass the EM energy through shaping, an antenna structure, or an active structure to a confined free space within shielding 84, 76 of FIG. 2. The waveguide medium 204 can be a gas or liquid, such as air, oil, fuel, solid dielectric, or the like. In some embodiments, the waveguide medium 204 is a dielectric. The guidance structure 206 can be a metal tube and may be integrally formed in / within a component of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1, such as communication path 102 of FIG. 3. In other embodiments, the guidance structure 206 is an outer edge of a dielectric and need not include a metallic structure. Although depicted as a single straight path, it will be understood that the waveguide 200 can bend and branch to reach multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B of FIG. 2. In other embodiments, the waveguide 200 may take the form of a planar stripline, or trace on a printed circuit board.

    [0057] Transitioning EM energy from a waveguide to and from cavities using TP 78 and/or shielded paths 72 can present a challenge when SCIDs 68A, 68B of FIG. 2 are located in higher temperature or pressure environments, especially in environments containing fuel, oil, flammable liquids, or associated vapours. With further reference to FIG. 5, the waveguide 250 enables transitioning of EM energy from a first environment 251 into a second environment 253 with a higher temperature and/or higher pressure capable barrier against fluids or gasses. Waveguide 250 of FIG. 5 can include a waveguide transmitter interface 252 that enables electromagnetic signal transmission within a guidance structure 256 to a waveguide transition interface 258. The waveguide transmitter interface 252 may be an EM energy emitter in the first environment 251. The waveguide transition interface 258 may be operable to pass the EM energy through shaping, an antenna structure, or an active structure from a first portion 260 of the waveguide 250 to a second portion 262 of the waveguide 250. The first portion 260 of the waveguide 250 may have a first waveguide medium 254 that is different from a second waveguide medium 264 of the second portion 262. A transition window 266 can be incorporated in the waveguide transition interface 258 as a dielectric or thin metal EM window operable to pass a frequency range of interest between the first portion 260 and the second portion 262 of the waveguide 250. The second portion 262 of the waveguide 250 can also include a secondary waveguide transition interface 268 in the second environment 253. The secondary waveguide transition interface 268 can act as a seal to prevent different temperatures and/or pressures of the second environment 253 from directly contacting the first portion 260 of the waveguide 250. The first waveguide medium 254 and the second waveguide medium 264 can be different gasses or liquids, such as air, oil, fuel, or the like and may have different nominal pressures and/or temperatures. In some embodiments, the first waveguide medium 254 and/or the second waveguide medium 264 is a dielectric. The guidance structure 256 can be a metal tube and may be integrally formed on/within a component of the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1, such as communication path 102 of FIG. 3. The guidance structure may also contain more than one waveguide transition interface(s) 258 with a corresponding transition window 266 for redundancy purposes. Although depicted as a single straight path, it will be understood that the waveguide 250 can bend, "T", "Y", and / or branch to reach multiple SCIDs 68A, 68B of FIG. 2.

    [0058] Turning now to FIG. 6, a schematic illustration in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure is shown. FIG. 6 provides an example illustration for employing EM energy to power and read devices such as sensors or other control devices, e.g., SCIDs 68A, 68B described above. As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, whether a sensor or control device is wired or wireless, some form of power is required to obtain a sensor reading. With open air wireless devices, batteries or other energy harvesting methods such as thermoelectric, vibrational, and magnetic coupling configurations have been considered. Utilizing free space EM energy can be implemented in RFID. Open air transmission of wireless energy as applicable to energy harvesting in some machine environments is generally not practical because the energy rapidly attenuates over short distances.

    [0059] In one non-limiting embodiment, use of the transmission path 78, path 62, and shielded paths 72 in the form of waveguides (e.g., waveguides 200, 250) allows very low transmission losses such that power sources (e.g., RPU 66 of EM devices) can be physically located farther apart as compared to conventional free space transmitting devices. Further, such configurations of the present disclosure can still deliver enough power to energize the SCIDs 68A, 68B.

    [0060] For example, FIG. 6 schematically represents an SCID 300 (i.e., similar to that shown in FIG. 2). The SCID 300 depicted in FIG. 6 receives energy from an EM transmitting source 302, such as an RPU described above. The SCID 300 includes a rectification and power conditioning module 304 configured to rectify and condition power received from the EM transmitting source 302. The rectified and conditioned power is then provided to each of the other modules of the SCID 300, as described herein (e.g., modules 306, 308, 310, etc.). Although shown as separate modules, the various components and features of the SCID 300 in accordance with the present disclosure can be configured in more or fewer modules, and in one non-limiting embodiment, a single printed circuit board component or a more integrated device implemented on a single package can provide all of the functionality described herein. Thus, FIG. 6 and the nomenclature provided herein is not intended to be limiting or to imply that each module is a separate and distinct unit, but rather is used to convey an operation that can be performed by the same or different components of the SCID 300.

    [0061] In addition to power processing, the SCID 300 further includes a communication interface module 306 that is configured for communication with the EM transmitting source 302. That is, the communication interface module 306 is configured to receive and process information received in EM transmissions from the EM transmitting source 302. The SCID 300 includes a control module 308, such as a microcontroller, microprocessor, etc. that can be programmed to control and/or communicate with different sensors depending on the application needs. The control module 308 can read and write to a storage module 308, such as memory (e.g., volatile and/or non-volatile memory). The storage module 308 can include identification information associated with SCID 300, programs and/or applications to be executed by the control module 308, or other data. The control module 308 is further configured to receive input from an external sensor(s) 312. The external sensor 312 can provide a sensor input 314 that is input into the SCID 300 at or through a sensor circuit module 316. The sensor circuit module 316 can be an electrical circuit, module, or component that is selected to interact with the external sensor 312, and thus may vary depending on a particular application or sensor configuration. The sensor input 314 is received at the sensor circuit module 316 and then converted at an input conversion module 318 to then be processed at the control module 308. In one non-limiting embodiment, the control module 308 can be a microcontroller that is configured to read the sensor input 314 through the conversion module 318, which may be an analogue-to-digital converter, frequency-to-digital converter, or any other converter that translates physical measurements to digital form. Further, in some non-limiting embodiments, the SCID 300 can include an optional control output module 320 that can, for example, process and convert instructions or commands from the control module 308 into analogue signals and generate an output signal 322. The output signal 322 can be a transmission or signal sent from the SCID 300 to the external sensor 312 for excitation or to some other external component or device (e.g., a different SCID, an actuator, a sub-system component (SSC) 70, etc.).

    [0062] The power rectification and conditioning module 304 has the ability to harvest energy from EM signals to power the modules of the SCID 300. Close proximity of the SCID 300 to the EM transmitting source 302 is not required due to the power levels of the EM energy delivered by the waveguides (e.g., waveguides 200, 250). Further, the SCID 300 has the ability to perform communications through the communication interface module 306. Moreover, the SCID 300 has the ability to read sensors 312 connected to the sensor circuit module 316. Furthermore, the SCID 300 has the ability to write information to and read information from the storage module 310. In some embodiments, the SCID 300 can be configured to send signals 322 (e.g., analogue signals) to an external device. Moreover, the SCID 300 has practical immunity from wireless cyber security attacks, EMI, etc. due to Faraday shielding provided about the SCID 300, as described above. Furthermore, in some embodiments, the SCIDs 300 can be multiplexed for communication purposes, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art.

    [0063] Turning now to FIG. 7, another schematic illustration of an SCID 400 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure is shown. The SCID 400 is a partial schematic, and those of skill in the art will appreciate that features described with respect thereto can be incorporated into any SCID in accordance with the present disclosure, or the features can be separately provided in a dedicated SCID, depending on the system requirements and needs. In the embodiments of FIG. 7, the SCID 400 is configured to store identification data, characterization data, and/or operational use data for control components. The control components could be actuators, valves, or sensor systems / sub-systems that vary slightly in characteristics between different parts. Accordingly, the SCID 400 can include various features described above with respect to FIG. 6, but such features are not shown for simplicity.

    [0064] As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, mechanical components manufactured to the same design specifications do not always perform identically when installed in an operational machine (e.g., aircraft engines, etc.), both initially and over time. Such variability may be caused by an inability to manufacture parts with no variance or differences (e.g., there may always be some amount of variation in any given process). Furthermore, in addition to manufacturing variability, over time various components may drift from operational metrics differently compared to initial states of the components (e.g., one component may degrade faster or slower than another component). Such variation causes loss in precision of machine operation and may cause additional energy consumption or drift in fault detection indicators due to off nominal operation scheduled by a control system.

    [0065] Various component variability (particularly manufacturing variability) can be determined at the time of manufacture. For example, in the aerospace industry, variability in components can be determined and recorded during acceptance testing before a product or component is shipped or finally installed. Such initial information can be useful in calibration of a final part or machine into which the component is installed. For example, such information that is component-specific can be used to fine-tune the machine, and further can be used to automatically tune or adjust operational parameters or other control or operational factors to accommodate component variability.

    [0066] Furthermore, as noted, component operation can vary significantly over time, for example due to environmental factors, operator usage profiles, and/or unexpected events that occur during equipment operation. Knowledge of the usage for each component can be useful in knowing when a component is operating off-specification or when maintenance action may be required or otherwise recommended. With current state-of-the-art systems, much of this information can be captured using various sensors or other equipment, as known in the art. However, such recorded data and information is typically stored in other components that are physically separate from the component (e.g., SCID), making life-usage tracking or troubleshooting at a component supplier very difficult.

    [0067] In the present disclosure and in particular the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, an SCID 400 can communicate with an EM transmitting source 402, such as an RPU. The RPU can receive information from the SCID 400 to obtain calibration information and / or other data related to the SCID 400. Such configuration can be used for multiple SCIDs 400 (e.g., each control component 70A-C, 74 shown in FIG. 2). FIG. 7 illustrates a non-limiting implementation and configuration of an SCID 400. The SCID 400 in FIG. 7 is configured to receive energy from the EM transmitting source 402, and then can rectify and condition the power using a rectification and power conditioning module 404. The rectified and conditioned power can then be supplied to each of the other modules within the SCID 400. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, similar to that of FIG. 6, a communication interface module 406 is configured to communicate with the EM transmitting source 402 (e.g., RPU) and also retrieve and store information into a storage module 410 through a control module 408. The control module 406 can be programmed to characterize different control components depending on application needs. For example, various characterization curves can be stored in the storage module 410 and can include flow rates versus valve position(s) and temperature, flow versus pressure drop and temperature, etc.

    [0068] During operation of the SCID 400 in this configuration, the storage module 410 can also store information about various other information, including, but not limited to, an engine installation, flight profiles, and/or important environmental data from other components that may be communicated over the EM communication interface (e.g., from the EM transmitting source 402 or from other sources). Such information can be supplied by a control and health monitoring system and/or other control systems or component and written to the storage module 410 in a particular SCID 400 of a control component.

    [0069] Such configuration can enable the ability to communicate with EM transmitting sources (e.g., RPUs) for sending and receiving calibration data, life usage data, environmental data, etc. Furthermore, embodiments of such configuration can enable the ability to utilize calibration data to fine tune control and diagnostic algorithms that utilize the control component. Moreover, various embodiments can store fault information data for components and thus enable monitoring for maintenance (e.g., removal, repair, replacement, etc.). Additionally, embodiments provided herein can provide an ability to associate the stored data in the control component (e.g., within the storage module 410) with the proper control component and thus a technician can obtain historical information or data related to the control component. Furthermore, advantageously, embodiments provided herein can provide an ability to characterize and/or track a single device or multiple devices that are grouped together in the same hardware component that may be physically combined with the EM device and thus provide, for example, detailed data and/or maintenance information. Moreover, in some embodiments, each SCID 400 can be configured to supply or otherwise announce identification information to a separate controller or other EM transmitted device when the SCID 400 is connected to an EM network (e.g., self-identifying and reporting of the SCID).

    [0070] Turning now to FIG. 8, another configuration of an SCID 500 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention as claimed is shown. The embodiment shown in FIG. 8 can be combined with one or more of the above described features and / or can form a distinct SCID 500. The SCID 500 is configured to use EM energy to power and read devices that control effectors using an externally provided power bus.

    [0071] As noted above, whether sensors or control devices are wired or wireless, some form of power is required to obtain sensor readings and power effectors such as electro-hydraulic servo valves (EHSV), direct drive valves (DDV), solenoids, etc. Such effectors may require relatively high power levels to control, e.g., compared to the more passive features described above, or as compared to other prior configurations as known in the art. Accordingly, power for effectors such as EHSVs, DDVs, solenoids, etc. must come from other sources than an SCID.

    [0072] However, in accordance with embodiments provided herein, power for effectors can be provided from and / or switched from the SCID 500. The SCID 500 can be similar to that described above, including an EM transmitting source 502, a rectification and power conditioning module 504, a communication interface module 506, a control module 508, a storage module 510, a sensor circuit module 516, an input conversion module 518, and can be in communication with an external sensor 512. In contrast to the above described embodiments, the SCID 500 includes a power output module 524. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the various features of the SCID 500 can be mixed and matched with the other embodiments of the present disclosure, and FIG. 8 is not intended to be limiting.

    [0073] Use of waveguides in accordance with the present disclosure, and described above, allows very low transmission losses such that power sources such as EM transmitting sources can be physically located much further than conventional free space transmitting devices and still deliver enough power to energize the SCID 500. The SCID 500 depicted in FIG. 8 receives energy from an EM transmitting source 502, rectifies and conditions the power in the rectification and power conditioning module 504 and provides the conditioned power to each of the other sections (e.g., modules 508, 510, 518, 516, etc.). The control module 508 is responsible for communicating with the EM transmitting source 502, retrieving and storing information in the storage module 510, reading the sensor inputs from the external sensor(s), if employed, through the sensor circuit module 516 and the input conversion module 518. Further, the SCID 500 is configured to supply output signals 526 through the power output module 524, which can provide analogue signals (e.g., D/A converted signals), pulse width modulations (e.g., through a pulse-width modulation converter), etc.

    [0074] The output signals 526 can be provided to one or more power switching devices 528 that are external from the SCID 500. The power switching devices 528 can be configured to deliver a power switching control signal to an electromechanical device 530 (e.g., EHSV, DDV, solenoid, etc.). The power switching devices 528 can receive higher required power levels from an optic or electric power bus 532 after passing through a power conditioning circuit 534. As noted above, the control module can be programmed to handle different sensors depending on the application needs and further can be programmed to handle and/or control different electromechanical devices.

    [0075] The non-limiting embodiment and features shown and described in FIG. 8 enable configurations where close proximity of the SCID 500 with power sources is not required due to the power levels of the EM energy delivered by the waveguides. Further, the control module 508 of the SCID 500 can provide the ability to receive electrical or optic power from a power bus 532 and convert it to a suitable power source for an EHSV, DDV, solenoid, or other electromechanical device 530. Further, the SCID 500 can provide an ability to control power output to the electromechanical devices 530 by sending low level D/A, Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signals, or any other suitable form of signal to the power switching devices for a switching operation.

    [0076] Turning now to FIG. 9, an example of an on-chip antenna 600 for use with embodiments of the present disclosure is schematically shown. The on-chip antenna 600 enables EM devices for power transfer and communication with a host or peer devices, as described above.

    [0077] The free space wavelength of EM radiation is given as λ = c/v; where c is the speed of light in air (3 x 108 m/s) and λ is the frequency in Hz. Hence at 10 GHz, the wavelength is 3 cm, and at 24 GHz the wavelength is approximately 1 cm. This is without the presence of a dielectric, which could diminish the size wavelength inversely proportional to the square root of the dielectric constant, i.e., λdielectric = λfree space/(ε)1/2. For materials with a dielectric of ∼10, this diminishes the wavelength and hence size of the antenna which is on the order of the size of the wavelength.

    [0078] FIG. 9 is an example of an on-chip antenna 600, whose functionality is to absorb EM radiation and can be employed with SCIDs shown and described herein. In some non-limiting embodiments, the on-chip antenna 600 is designed to be capable of receiving EM radiation, rectifying the EM radiation (e.g., rectifying power), and turning it into a power source for the device (e.g., operate as a rectification and power conditioning module of an SCID shown and described above). Concurrently, the on-chip antenna 600 may be configured to efficiently transmit EM radiation back out of the device (e.g., the SCID). Accordingly, in some configurations, the on-chip antenna and the chip itself (e.g., the complete SCID) can be co-designed to be both an efficient absorber and radiator (e.g., receive and transmit EM radiation).

    [0079] In one non-limiting example, the on-chip antenna 600 can be designed to operate at various frequencies. For example, the on-chip antenna 600 can be configured to operate at various frequencies or ranges of frequencies, including, but not limited to 1 - 100 GHz, 3 - 4.5 GHz, 10 GHz, 24 GHz, 60 GHz, or 76 - 77 GHz. In various embodiments, the EM radiation can be rectified and the EM energy used to power an RFID designed to operate at such a frequency. Advantageously, embodiments of the present disclosure enable an antenna that is integrated onto the surface of a device (e.g., SCID) that both powers the device and efficiently radiates back at a power reception frequency. Further, in some embodiments, the on-chip antenna 600 can have an integrated dielectric for smaller size, and thus provide additional benefits.

    [0080] In some embodiments, the on-chip antenna 600 can have an isolated ground plane for high efficiency. Moreover, in some non-limiting embodiments, the on-chip antenna 600 can be composed of a non-oxidizing metal such as gold, platinum, stainless steel, titanium, etc. Furthermore, a dielectric can be used to enable miniaturize the size of the on-chip antenna 600. Due to optimized size and shape, the placement of the on-chip antenna 600 on the device, and subsequently the placement of the device itself, can be made so that the orientation of the on-chip antenna 600 maximizes EM absorption and transmission. Furthermore, in accordance with some embodiments, the on-chip antenna can be designed and/or otherwise configured for selective polarization, or mode, whether the mode is primarily magnetic or electric, and further can be designed to operate internal to a waveguide structure.

    [0081] While the present disclosure has been described in detail in connection with only a limited number of embodiments, it should be readily understood that the present disclosure is not limited to such disclosed embodiments. Rather, the present disclosure can be modified to incorporate any number of variations, alterations, substitutions or equivalent arrangements not heretofore described, but which are commensurate with the scope of the present disclosure. Additionally, while various embodiments of the present disclosure have been described, it is to be understood that aspects of the present disclosure may include only some of the described embodiments. Accordingly, the present disclosure is not to be seen as limited by the foregoing description, but is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A sensing / control / identification device (68A; 500) of a machine, the device comprising:

    a shielding (84) defining a shielded volume;

    a rectification and power conditioning module (504) within the shielded volume configured to receive electromagnetic, EM, transmissions from an EM transmitting source (502) and convert said EM transmissions to electrical power;

    a communication interface module (506) within the shielded volume configured to receive power from the rectification and power conditioning module (504) and at least one of receive the EM transmissions or transmit EM communications; and

    a control module (508) within the shielded volume configured to at least one of (i) receive the EM transmissions from the communication interface for processing or prepare the EM communications for transmission from the communication interface module (506) and (ii) communicate with a remote sensor (512) of the machine;

    wherein

    a power output module (524) is configured to distribute the electrical power from the rectification and power conditioning module (504) to an electromechanical device (530).


     
    2. The device (68A; 500) as recited in claim 1, further comprising a storage module (510) within the shielded volume, wherein the control module (508) is configured to at least one of read from or write to the storage module.
     
    3. The device (68A; 500) as recited in claim 2, wherein the storage module (510) includes at least one of (i) programs and/or applications to be executed by the control module (508), (ii) identification data associated with the device, (iii) historical data associated with the device, (iv) characterization curves associated with the machine, (v) an engine installation, (vi) flight profiles, or (vii) environmental data.
     
    4. The device (68A; 500) as recited in any preceding claim, further comprising a sensor circuit module (516) configured to interface between a remote sensor (512) and the control module (508).
     
    5. The device (68A; 500) as recited in claim 4, further comprising a conversion module (518) configured to convert a signal from the external signal to a signal to be processed by the control module (508).
     
    6. The device (68A; 500) as recited in claim 5, wherein the sensor circuit module (516) and the conversion module (518) are configured to convert an analogue signal received from the remote sensor (512) to a digital signal to be processed by the control module (508),
     
    7. The device (68A; 500) as recited in any preceding claim, further comprising a control output module operably connected to the control module (508) and configured to process and convert instructions or commands from the control module (508) into an output signal and transmit said output signal.
     
    8. The device (68A; 500) as recited in any preceding claim, wherein the rectification and power conditioning module (504), the communication interface module (506), and the control module (508) are all configured on a single printed circuit board or highly integrated system in a package, SIP.
     
    9. The device (68A; 500) as recited in claim 8, wherein the printed circuit board or highly integrated system in a package, SIP, includes an on-chip antenna (600).
     
    10. The device (68A; 500) as recited in any preceding claim, further comprising a power bus (532), a power conditioning circuit (534), and at least one power switching device (528) configured to switch or modulate the power to the electromechanical device (530).
     
    11. The device (68A; 500) as recited in any preceding claim, wherein the electromechanical device (530) is an electro-hydraulic servo valve, a direct drive valve, or a solenoid.
     
    12. A system for a gas turbine engine, the system comprising:

    a component;

    a remote sensor (512) operably connected to the component;

    an electromagnetic, EM, transmitting source (502) located remote from the component; and

    a sensing / control / identification device (68A; 500) as recited in any of the preceding claims, the sensing / control / identification device configured on or proximate to the component.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Mess-/Steuerungs-/Identifizierungsvorrichtung (68A; 500) einer Maschine, wobei die Vorrichtung Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Abschirmung (84), die ein abgeschirmtes Volumen definiert;

    ein Gleichrichtungs- und Leistungsaufbereitungsmodul (504) innerhalb des abgeschirmten Volumens, um elektromagnetische, EM-, Übertragungen von einer EM-Übertragungsquelle (502) zu empfangen und die EM-Übertragungen in elektrische Leistung umzuwandeln;

    ein Kommunikationsschnittstellenmodul (506) innerhalb des abgeschirmten Volumens, das zum Aufnehmen von Leistung von dem Gleichrichtungs- und Leistungsaufbereitungsmodul (504) und zu mindestens einem aus Empfangen der EM-Übertragungen oder Übertragen von EM-Kommunikationen konfiguriert ist; und

    ein Steuerungsmodul (508) innerhalb des abgeschirmten Volumens, das zu mindestens einem aus (i) dem Empfangen der EM-Übertragungen von der Kommunikationsschnittstelle zum Verarbeiten oder dem Vorbereiten der EM-Kommunikationen zur Übertragung vom Kommunikationsschnittstellenmodul (506) und (ii) dem Kommunizieren mit einem Fernsensor (512) der Maschine zu konfiguriert ist;

    wobei

    ein Leistungsabgabemodul (524) dazu konfiguriert ist, die elektrische Leistung von dem Gleichrichtungs- und Leistungsaufbereitungsmodul (504) an eine elektromechanische Vorrichtung (530) zu verteilen.


     
    2. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend ein Speichermodul (510) innerhalb des abgeschirmten Volumens, wobei das Steuerungsmodul (508) zu mindestens einem aus dem Lesen aus dem Speichermodul oder dem Schreiben in dieses konfiguriert ist.
     
    3. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach Anspruch 2, wobei das Speichermodul (510) mindestens eines aus (i) Programmen und/oder Anwendungen, die von dem Steuerungsmodul (508) auszuführen sind, (ii) Identifizierungsdaten in Verbindung mit der Vorrichtung, (iii) historischen Daten in Verbindung mit der Vorrichtung, (iv) Charakterisierungskurven in Verbindung mit der Maschine, (v) einer Triebwerksanlage, (vi) Flugprofilen oder (vii) Umweltdaten beinhaltet.
     
    4. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend ein Sensorschaltungsmodul (516), das dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Schnittstelle zwischen einem Fernsensor (512) und dem Steuerungsmodul (508) zu bilden.
     
    5. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach Anspruch 4, ferner umfassend ein Umwandlungsmodul (518), das dazu konfiguriert ist, ein Signal von einem externen Signal in ein Signal, das von dem Steuerungsmodul (508) zu verarbeiten ist, umzuwandeln.
     
    6. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach Anspruch 5, wobei das Sensorschaltungsmodul (516) und das Umwandlungsmodul (518) dazu konfiguriert sind, ein analoges Signal, das von dem Fernsensor (512) empfangen wird, in ein digitales Signal, das von dem Steuerungsmodul (508) zu verarbeiten ist, umzuwandeln.
     
    7. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend ein Steuerungsausgangsmodul, das in Wirkverbindung mit dem Steuerungsmodul (508) steht und dazu konfiguriert ist, Anweisungen oder Befehle von dem Steuerungsmodul (508) zu verarbeiten und in ein Ausgangssignal umzuwandeln und das Ausgangssignal zu übertragen.
     
    8. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Gleichrichtungs- und Leistungsaufbereitungsmodul (504), das Kommunikationsschnittstellenmodul (506) und das Steuerungsmodul (508) alle auf einer einzigen Leiterplatte oder einem hochintegrierten System-in-Package, SIP, konfiguriert sind.
     
    9. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Leiterplatte oder das hochintegrierte System-in-Package, SIP, eine chipintegrierte Antenne (600) beinhaltet.
     
    10. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend einen Leistungsbus (532), eine Leistungsaufbereitungsschaltung (534) und mindestens eine Leistungsschaltungsvorrichtung (528), die dazu konfiguriert ist, die Leistung zu der elektromechanischen Vorrichtung (530) zu schalten oder zu modulieren.
     
    11. Vorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die elektromechanische Vorrichtung (530) ein elektrohydraulisches Servoventil, ein Direktantriebsventil oder ein Magnetventil ist.
     
    12. System für ein Gasturbinentriebwerk, wobei das System Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Komponente;

    einen Fernsensor (512), der in Wirkverbindung mit der Komponente steht;

    eine elektromagnetische, EM-, Übertragungsquelle (502), die von der Komponente entfernt angeordnet ist; und

    eine Mess-/Steuerungs-/Identifizierungsvorrichtung (68A; 500) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Mess-/Steuerungs-/Identifizierungsvorrichtung an oder nahe der Komponente konfiguriert ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de détection/commande/d'identification (68A ; 500) d'une machine, le dispositif comprenant :

    un blindage (84) délimitant un volume blindé ;

    un module de redressement et de conditionnement d'énergie (504) à l'intérieur du volume blindé configuré pour recevoir des transmissions électromagnétiques, EM, en provenance d'une source de transmission EM (502) et convertir lesdites transmissions EM en énergie électrique ;

    un module d'interface de communication (506) à l'intérieur du volume blindé configuré pour recevoir de l'énergie en provenance du module de redressement et de conditionnement d'énergie (504) et recevoir les transmissions EM et/ou transmettre les communications EM ; et

    un module de commande (508) à l'intérieur du volume blindé configuré pour (i) recevoir les transmissions EM en provenance de l'interface de communication pour traiter ou préparer les communications EM pour une transmission en provenance du module d'interface de communication (506) et/ou (ii) communiquer avec un capteur distant (512) de la machine ;

    dans lequel

    un module de sortie d'énergie (524) est configuré pour distribuer l'énergie électrique du module de redressement et de conditionnement d'énergie (504) à un dispositif électromécanique (530).


     
    2. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un module de stockage (510) à l'intérieur du volume blindé, dans lequel le module de commande (508) est configuré pour lire depuis le module de stockage et/ou écrire sur celui-ci.
     
    3. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le module de stockage (510) comprend (i) des programmes et/ou des applications à exécuter par le module de commande (508), (ii) des données d'identification associées au dispositif, (iii) des données historiques associées au dispositif, (iv) des courbes de caractérisation associées à la machine, (v) une installation de moteur, (vi) des profils de vol et/ou (vii) des données environnementales.
     
    4. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre un module (516) de circuit de capteur configuré pour servir d'interface entre un capteur distant (512) et le module de commande (508).
     
    5. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon la revendication 4, comprenant en outre un module de conversion (518) configuré pour convertir un signal du signal externe en un signal à traiter par le module de commande (508).
     
    6. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le module (516) de circuit de capteur et le module de conversion (518) sont configurés pour convertir un signal analogique reçu en provenance du capteur distant (512) en un signal numérique à traiter par le module de commande (508).
     
    7. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre un module de sortie de commande connecté de manière fonctionnelle au module de commande (508) et configuré pour traiter et convertir des instructions ou des commandes en provenance du module de commande (508) en un signal de sortie et transmettre ledit signal de sortie.
     
    8. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel le module de redressement et de conditionnement d'énergie (504), le module d'interface de communication (506) et le module de commande (508) sont tous configurés sur une seule carte de circuit imprimé ou un système hautement intégré dans un boîtier, SIP.
     
    9. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la carte de circuit imprimé ou le système hautement intégré dans un boîtier, SIP, comprend une antenne sur puce (600) .
     
    10. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre un bus d'alimentation (532), un circuit de conditionnement d'énergie (534), et au moins un dispositif de commutation d'énergie (528) configuré pour commuter ou moduler l'énergie vers le dispositif électromécanique (530).
     
    11. Dispositif (68A ; 500) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel le dispositif électromécanique (530) est une servo-valve électro-hydraulique, une valve à entraînement direct ou un solénoïde.
     
    12. Système pour un moteur à turbine à gaz, le système comprenant :

    un composant ;

    un capteur distant (512) connecté de manière fonctionnelle au composant ;

    une source de transmission électromagnétique, EM, (502) située à distance du composant ; et

    un dispositif de détection/commande/d'identification (68A ; 500) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, le dispositif de détection/commande/d'identification étant configuré sur ou à proximité du composant.


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description