(19)
(11)EP 3 726 324 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
21.10.2020 Bulletin 2020/43

(21)Application number: 20167178.1

(22)Date of filing:  31.03.2020
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G05B 23/02(2006.01)
H01Q 1/28(2006.01)
G08C 17/02(2006.01)
G01D 21/00(2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 17.04.2019 US 201962835165 P

(71)Applicant: United Technologies Corporation
Farmington, CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • LAMBERTI, William C.
    Wethersfield, CT 06109 (US)
  • SCHEID, Paul Raymond
    West Hartford, CT 06107 (US)
  • POSNIAK, Jason E.
    Broad Brook, CT 06016 (US)

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

  


(54)GAS TURBINE ENGINE COMMUNICATION GATEWAY WITH INTERNAL SENSORS


(57) A communication adapter (102) of a gas turbine engine (104) of an aircraft (108) includes an internal sensor system (228) including a plurality of sensors within the communication adapter (102), a memory system (222), and processing circuitry (220). The processing circuitry (220) is configured to receive a plurality of time series data at the communication adapter (102) from an engine control (122) during operation of the gas turbine engine (104), record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time in the memory system (222) based on the internal sensor system (228) until an end condition is met, correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set (418), and transmit the enhanced data set (418) from the communication adapter (102) to an offboard system (106) based on a transmit condition.




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] The subject matter disclosed herein generally relates to gas turbine engine communication systems and, more particularly, to a gas turbine engine communication gateway with internal sensors.

[0002] A control system of a gas turbine engine uses multiple configuration control items, such as control software, data, trim updatable values, and the like to control operation of the gas turbine engine and monitor performance of the gas turbine engine. Once a gas turbine engine is deployed in the field, it can be difficult to access data captured and/or computed by the control system and to make updates to the configuration control items. A gas turbine engine can be deployed in the field for an extended service life, such as a period of decades. Computer system technology and communication technology can evolve at a rapid pace adding to the challenges of interfacing with offboard systems as the offboard technology continues to advance during the lifespan of the engine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION



[0003] According to one embodiment, a communication adapter of a gas turbine engine of an aircraft includes an internal sensor system including a plurality of sensors within the communication adapter, a memory system, and processing circuitry. The processing circuitry is configured to receive a plurality of time series data at the communication adapter from an engine control during operation of the gas turbine engine, record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time in the memory system based on the internal sensor system until an end condition is met, correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set, and transmit the enhanced data set from the communication adapter to an offboard system based on a transmit condition.

[0004] Further embodiments may include a housing having a plurality of mounts configured to couple the communication adapter to a fan case of the gas turbine engine.

[0005] Further embodiments may include where the housing includes at least one antenna configured to support wireless communication.

[0006] Further embodiments may include where the at least one antenna includes a global positioning system antenna.

[0007] Further embodiments may include where the time series data includes a combination of aircraft parameters and engine control parameters with at least one time stamp to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.

[0008] Further embodiments may include where the sensors within the communication adapter include one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.

[0009] Further embodiments may include where the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.

[0010] According to an embodiment, a method includes receiving a plurality of time series data at a communication adapter of a gas turbine engine of an aircraft, where the time series data is received from an engine control during operation of the gas turbine engine. The communication adapter records a plurality of internal sensor data versus time based on an internal sensor system of the communication adapter until an end condition is met. The time series data is correlated with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set. The enhanced data set is transmitted from the communication adapter to an offboard system based on a transmit condition.

[0011] Further embodiments may include where the communication adapter includes a housing having a plurality of mounts configured to couple the communication adapter to a fan case of the gas turbine engine.

[0012] Further embodiments may include where the housing comprises at least one antenna configured to support wireless communication.

[0013] Further embodiments may include where the at least one antenna comprises a global positioning system antenna.

[0014] Further embodiments may include where the time series data comprises a combination of aircraft parameters and engine control parameters with at least one time stamp to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.

[0015] Further embodiments may include where the internal sensor system includes a plurality of sensors within the communication adapter, the sensors including one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.

[0016] Further embodiments may include where the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.

[0017] According to an embodiment, a gas turbine engine of an aircraft includes a fan section with a fan case, an engine control mounted on the fan case, and a communication adapter mounted on the fan case. The engine control is configured to monitor and control operation of the gas turbine engine in real-time. The communication adapter includes processing circuitry configured to receive a plurality of time series data from the engine control during operation of the gas turbine engine, record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time based on an internal sensor system until an end condition is met, correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set, and transmit the enhanced data set to an offboard system based on a transmit condition.

[0018] Further embodiments may include where the communication adapter includes a housing having a plurality of mounts configured to couple the communication adapter to the fan case of the gas turbine engine.

[0019] Further embodiments may include where the housing includes at least one antenna configured to support wireless communication, and the at least one antenna includes a global positioning system antenna.

[0020] Further embodiments may include the time series data comprises a combination of aircraft parameters and engine control parameters with at least one time stamp to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.

[0021] Further embodiments may include the internal sensor system within the communication adapter comprises one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.

[0022] Further embodiments may include the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.

[0023] A technical effect of the apparatus, systems and methods is achieved by incorporating communication features and internal sensors to securely interface an engine control system with offboard systems as described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0024] The following descriptions should not be considered limiting in any way and are by way of example only. With reference to the accompanying drawings, like elements are numbered alike:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system supporting wireless communication between an engine and offboard systems, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating further details of the system of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a housing of a communication adapter with a cutaway, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a chart depicting time-based merging of data from multiple sources at a communication adapter, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure; and

FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a method, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0025] A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the disclosed apparatus and method are presented herein by way of exemplification and not limitation with reference to the Figures.

[0026] Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a system 100 supporting wireless communication between a communication adapter 102 of a gas turbine engine 104 and a plurality of offboard systems 106. The gas turbine engine 104 can be coupled to an aircraft 108, where the aircraft 108 can include multiple instances of the gas turbine engine 104. The gas turbine engine 104 can include a fan section 110, a compressor section 112, a combustor section 114, and a turbine section 116. The fan section 110 drives air along a bypass flow path, while the compressor section 112 drives air along a core flow path for compression and communication into the combustor section 114 then expansion through the turbine section 116. A fan case 118 of the fan section 110 can be covered by a cowling 120 and may provide an installation surface that is cooler than other sections 112-116 of the gas turbine engine 104.

[0027] An engine control 122 can be mounted on the fan case 118 and covered by the cowling 120. The engine control 122 is configured to monitor and control operation of the gas turbine engine 104 in real-time. In order to transfer configuration items, such as programs and data to and from the engine control 122, contemporary systems typically require that the cowling 120 is opened and multiple cables of bundled wires are coupled to the engine control 122. Such a process can ensure deliberate actions are taken in extracting data and performing updates to the engine control 122; however, the process can be slow and require large lengths of customized cables. In embodiments, the communication adapter 102, also referred to as a gas turbine engine communication gateway, is configured to establish communication with the engine control 122 and wireless communication with one or more offboard systems 106 external to the aircraft 108. Similar to the engine control 122, the communication adapter 102 can be mounted on the fan case 118 and covered by the cowling 120 of the gas turbine engine 104. Wireless communication can alleviate the need for customized cables or physically opening the cowling 120 to establish communication with the offboard systems 106.

[0028] The offboard systems 106 can include, for example, a ground station 124, a near-wing maintenance computer 126, an access portal 130, and/or other devices (not depicted) that may establish one-way or two-way wireless communication with the communication adapter 102. For example, a global positioning system (GPS) can provide one-way wireless signaling to the communication adapter 102 to assist in confirming a geographic location of the gas turbine engine 104 while the communication adapter 102 is coupled to the gas turbine engine 104. Wireless communication performed by the communication adapter 102 can be through a variety of technologies with different ranges supported. As one example, the communication adapter 102 can support Wi-Fi (e.g., radio wireless local area networking based on IEEE 802.11 or other applicable standards), GPS, cellular networks, satellite communication, and/or other wireless communication technologies known in the art. Wireless communication between the communication adapter 102 and the offboard systems 106 can be direct or indirect. For instance, wireless communication between the communication adapter 102 and ground station 124 may pass through one or more network interface components 128, such as a repeater, while wireless communication between the communication adapter 102 and the near-wing maintenance computer 126 may be direct wireless communication without any relay components.

[0029] The ground station 124 can enable communication with a variety of support systems, such as an access portal 130 that enables authorized users to access data, initiate tests, configure software, and perform other actions with respect to the engine control 122, where the communication adapter 102 acts as a secure gateway to limit access and interactions with the engine control 122. As another example, the ground station 124 can communicate with a notification system 132, which may trigger alerts, text messages, e-mails, and the like to authorized recipients regarding operational status of the gas turbine engine 104. The near-wing maintenance computer 126 may provide an authorized user with limited authority a capability to query the communication adapter 102 for fault data, test parameters, and other such information. In some embodiments, the near-wing maintenance computer 126 can be authorized with limited authority to make updates to select configuration parameters or data collection parameters of the communication adapter 102.

[0030] FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating further details of the system 100 of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The engine control 122 can control effectors 202 of the gas turbine engine 104 by generating one or more effector commands 204. Examples of effectors 202 can include one or more motors, solenoids, valves, relays, pumps, heaters, and/or other such actuation control components. A plurality of sensors 206 can capture state data associated with the gas turbine engine 104 and provide sensed values 208 as feedback to the engine control 122 to enable closed-loop control of the gas turbine engine 104 according to one or more control laws. Examples of the sensors 206 can include one or more temperature sensors, pressure sensors, strain gauges, speed sensors, accelerometers, lube sensors, and the like.

[0031] The engine control 122 can be a full authority digital engine control that includes processing circuitry 210 and a memory system 212 configured to store a plurality of configuration items, where at least one of the configuration items includes a sequence of the computer executable instructions for execution by the processing circuitry 210. Other types of configuration items can include data, such as constants, configurable data, and/or fault data. Examples of computer executable instructions can include boot software, operating system software, and/or application software. The executable instructions may be stored or organized in any manner and at any level of abstraction, such as in connection with controlling and/or monitoring operation of the gas turbine engine 104. The processing circuitry 210 can be any type or combination of central processing unit (CPU), including one or more of: a microprocessor, a digital signal processor (DSP), a microcontroller, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), or the like. Also, in embodiments, the memory system 212 may include volatile memory, such as random access memory (RAM), and non-volatile memory, such as Flash memory, read only memory (ROM), and/or other electronic, optical, magnetic, or any other computer readable medium onto which is stored data and algorithms in a non-transitory form.

[0032] The engine control 122 can also include one or more of an input/output interface 214, a communication interface 216, and/or other elements (not depicted). The input/output interface 214 can include support circuitry for interfacing with the effectors 202 and sensors 206, such as filters, amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, analog-to-digital converters, and other such circuits to support digital and/or analog interfaces. Further, the input/output interface 214 can receive or output signals to/from other sources. The communication interface 216 can be communicatively coupled to the communication adapter 102. The communication interface 216 may also communicate with an aircraft bus 218 of the aircraft 108 of FIG. 1. The aircraft bus 218 may provide aircraft-level parameters and commands that are used by the engine control 122 to control the gas turbine engine 104 in real-time.

[0033] Similar to the engine control 122, the communication adapter 102 can include processing circuitry 220, a memory system 222, an input/output interface 224, and a communication interface 226. The processing circuitry 220 can be any type or combination of central processing unit (CPU), including one or more of: a microprocessor, a digital signal processor (DSP), a microcontroller, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), or the like. Also, in embodiments, the memory system 222 may include volatile memory, such as random access memory (RAM), and non-volatile memory, such as Flash memory, read only memory (ROM), and/or other electronic, optical, magnetic, or any other computer readable medium onto which is stored data and algorithms in a non-transitory form. The communication adapter 102 can also include an internal sensor system 228. The internal sensor system 228 can include, for example, one or more accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, a magnetometer (e.g., a compass), and other such sensors. Further, the communication adapter 102 can include other devices, such as a GPS 229. The input/output interface 224 can process data collected from the internal sensors 228 and condition the data in a format usable by the processing circuitry 220. The communication interface 226 can interface with one or more antennas 230, which may be integrated with the communication adapter 102 or located remotely from the communication adapter 102, e.g., a shark-fin antenna mounted under or on the cowling 120 of FIG. 1.

[0034] The communication adapter 102 can act as a secure communication gateway with respect to the offboard systems 106. For example, the offboard systems 106 can request to load new/updated configuration items to the memory system 212 of the engine control 122 through the communication adapter 102. The communication interface 216 of the engine control 122 can interface to the communication interface 226 of the communication adapter 102 through a wired, optical, or magnetic coupling. The communication interface 226 can communicate wirelessly through one or more antennas 230 to the offboard systems 106. The communication interface 226 may also have access to receive data directly from the aircraft bus 218 in some embodiments. In alternate embodiments, the communication adapter 102 can send a request to the engine control 122 to provide aircraft parameters received via the aircraft bus 218 and/or engine parameters computed by the engine control 122.

[0035] The communication adapter 102 can manage credentials and user authentication to limit access of the memory system 212 of the engine control 122. User authentication can be defined for particular users or classes of users, such as equipment-owner users, maintenance technicians, engineering users, and the like. For example, a maintenance technician may have authority to adjust trimmable constants or reprogram certain regions of the memory system 212. An engineering user may have authority to reprogram an operating system, boot program code, or application software in the memory system 212, in addition to having permissions of the maintenance technician and the equipment-owner user. If user authentication fails, for instance, by user credentials not being recognized with respect to user authentication data, then the communication adapter 102 can block access of the offboard systems 106 from reading from or writing to the memory system 212.

[0036] Configuration items received for the engine control 122 and/or the communication adapter 102 may be encrypted using various cryptographic methods to further enhance security. For example, the communication adapter 102 can apply a cryptographic algorithm using one or more parameters received and cryptographic information to decrypt an encrypted configuration item. A combination of transmitted and stored cryptographic information can be used together for decryption based on 'shared secrets' such that not all of the information is sent from the offboard systems 106 nor stored completely within the communication adapter 102. After decryption, authenticity of the configuration item can be verified using, for example, a digital signature of the configuration item. The resulting file can be a decrypted and authenticated configuration item, which may be temporarily stored in memory system 222 or otherwise buffered during authentication and passed to the engine control 122 upon authentication.

[0037] Separating the communication adapter 102 from the engine control 122 can enable the communication adapter 102 and the engine control 122 to have different expected service life durations. For example, to stay compatible with changes in wireless communication technologies used by the offboard systems 106, the communication adapter 102 may be upgraded at a faster interval than the engine control 122. The communication adapter 102 can have a lower processing and storage capacity than the engine control 122 to reduce power requirements, weight, and other costs associated with the communication adapter 102. Since the communication adapter 102 does not actively control the gas turbine engine 104, development cycles may be reduced as compared to implementing flight critical control algorithms and hardware of the engine control 122.

[0038] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a housing 300 of the communication adapter 102 with at least one antenna 230, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. The antenna 230 can be, for example, a global positioning system antenna or another antenna type. The antenna 230 can be integrated with the housing 300 in some embodiments. The housing 300 also includes a plurality of mounts 302 configured to couple the communication adapter 102 to the fan case 118 of the gas turbine engine 104. Further, the housing 300 can include one or more connector ports 304 to support wire-based communication and power supply connections with the engine control 122 of FIG. 1. Within the housing 300, the communication adapter 102 can include various devices, such as sensors of an internal sensor system 228, such as one or more accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, a magnetometer (e.g., a compass), and a GPS 229 and/or other devices.

[0039] FIG. 4 is a chart 400 depicting time-based merging of data from multiple sources at a communication adapter 102, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. In the example of FIG. 4, aircraft parameters 402 can be received on the aircraft bus 218 by the engine control 122 and be forwarded to the communication adapter 102 along with engine control parameters 404 or be directly received by the communication adapter 102. The communication adapter 102 can also access localization data 406 from the internal sensor system 228 of FIG. 2. The aircraft parameters 402, engine control parameters 404, and localization data 406 can be correlated through one or more time stamps 408. The time stamps 408 can be used to align data values from the aircraft parameters 402, engine control parameters 404, and localization data 406 into an aircraft parameter buffer 412, engine control parameter buffer 414, and localization data buffer 416 as an enhanced data set 418. In some embodiments, there can be delays between when the aircraft parameters 402 and engine control parameters 404 are captured and received by the communication adapter 102. Time stamp 408 data can enable alignment of data received with varying delays from the engine control 122 of FIG. 1 and/or the aircraft bus 218.

[0040] Referring now to FIG. 5 with continued reference to FIGS. 1-4, FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a method 500 for using the communication adapter 102 of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment. The method 500 may be performed, for example, by the communication adapter 102 in conjunction with the engine control 122 of FIG. 1 and at least one of the offboard systems 106 of FIG. 1.

[0041] At block 502, the communication adapter 102 can receive a plurality of time series data from an engine control 122 during operation of the gas turbine engine 104, such as aircraft parameters 402 and/or engine control parameters 404.

[0042] At block 504, the communication adapter 102 can record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time in the memory system 222 based on the internal sensor system 228 until an end condition is met. An end condition can be determined based on an amount of data collected, a time period of data collection, and/or responsive to a command. The internal sensor data can provide one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping, for instance, as localization data 406.

[0043] At block 506, the communication adapter 102 can correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set 418, which may be represented in a combination of the aircraft parameter buffer 412, engine control parameter buffer 414, and/or localization data buffer 416.

[0044] At block 508, the communication adapter 102 can transmit the enhanced data set 418 from the communication adapter 102 to an offboard system 106 based on a transmit condition. The transmit condition can be defined based on receiving a command, a volume of data to transmit (e.g., a message size limit), and/or other such information.

[0045] While the above description has described the flow process of FIG. 5 in a particular order, it should be appreciated that unless otherwise specifically required in the attached claims that the ordering of the steps may be varied.

[0046] The term "about" is intended to include the degree of error associated with measurement of the particular quantity based upon the equipment available at the time of filing the application.

[0047] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the present disclosure. As used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises" and/or "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, element components, and/or groups thereof.

[0048] While the present disclosure has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment or embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the claims. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the present disclosure without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. Therefore, it is intended that the present invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the present invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the claims.

[0049] The following clauses set out features of the invention which may or may not presently be claimed, but which may form the basis for amendment or a divisional application.
  1. 1. A gas turbine engine of an aircraft, the gas turbine engine comprising:

    a fan section comprising a fan case;

    an engine control mounted on the fan case, the engine control configured to monitor and control operation of the gas turbine engine in real-time; and

    a communication adapter mounted on the fan case, the communication adapter comprising processing circuitry configured to receive a plurality of time series data from the engine control during operation of the gas turbine engine, record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time based on an internal sensor system until an end condition is met, correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set, and transmit the enhanced data set to an offboard system based on a transmit condition.

  2. 2. The gas turbine engine of clause 1, wherein the communication adapter comprises a housing having a plurality of mounts configured to couple the communication adapter to the fan case of the gas turbine engine.
  3. 3. The gas turbine engine of clause 2, wherein the housing comprises at least one antenna configured to support wireless communication, and the at least one antenna comprises a global positioning system antenna.
  4. 4. The gas turbine engine of clause 1, wherein the time series data comprises a combination of aircraft parameters and engine control parameters with at least one time stamp to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.
  5. 5. The gas turbine engine of clause 1, wherein the internal sensor system within the communication adapter comprises one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.
  6. 6. The gas turbine engine of clause 1, wherein the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.



Claims

1. A communication adapter (102) of a gas turbine engine (104) of an aircraft (108), the communication adapter (102) comprising:

an internal sensor system (228) comprising a plurality of sensors within the communication adapter (102);

a memory system (222); and

processing circuitry (220) configured to:

receive a plurality of time series data at the communication adapter (102) from an engine control (122) during operation of the gas turbine engine (104);

record a plurality of internal sensor data versus time in the memory system (222) based on the internal sensor system (228) until an end condition is met;

correlate the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set (418); and

transmit the enhanced data set (418) from the communication adapter (102) to an offboard system (106) based on a transmit condition.


 
2. The communication adapter (102) of claim 1, further comprising a housing (300) having a plurality of mounts (302) configured to couple the communication adapter (102) to a fan case (118) of the gas turbine engine (104).
 
3. The communication adapter (102) of claim 2, wherein the housing (300) comprises at least one antenna (230) configured to support wireless communication.
 
4. The communication adapter (102) of claim 3, wherein the at least one antenna (230) comprises a global positioning system antenna.
 
5. The communication adapter (102) of any preceding claim, wherein the time series data comprises a combination of aircraft parameters (402) and engine control parameters (404) with at least one time stamp (408) to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.
 
6. The communication adapter (102) of any preceding claim, wherein the sensors within the communication adapter (102) comprise one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.
 
7. The communication adapter (102) of any preceding claim, wherein the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.
 
8. A gas turbine engine (104) of an aircraft (108), the gas turbine engine (104) comprising:

a fan section (110) comprising a fan case (118);

an engine control (122) mounted on the fan case (118), the engine control (122) configured to monitor and control operation of the gas turbine engine (104) in real-time; and

the communication adapter (102) of any preceding claim mounted on the fan case (118).


 
9. A method comprising:

receiving a plurality of time series data at a communication adapter (102) of a gas turbine engine (104) of an aircraft (108), the time series data received from an engine control (122) during operation of the gas turbine engine (104) (502);

recording, by the communication adapter (102), a plurality of internal sensor data versus time based on an internal sensor system (228) of the communication adapter (102) until an end condition is met (504);

correlating the time series data with the internal sensor data based on an alignment in time to form an enhanced data set (418) (506); and

transmitting the enhanced data set (418) from the communication adapter (102) to an offboard system (106) based on a transmit condition (508).


 
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the communication adapter (102) comprises a housing (300) having a plurality of mounts (302) configured to couple the communication adapter (102) to a fan case (118) of the gas turbine engine (104).
 
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the housing (300) comprises at least one antenna (230) configured to support wireless communication.
 
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the at least one antenna (230) comprises a global positioning system antenna.
 
13. The method of any of claims 9 to 12, wherein the time series data comprises a combination of aircraft parameters (462) and engine control parameters (404) with at least one time stamp (408) to establish a time base for correlation with the internal sensor data.
 
14. The method of any of claims 9 to 13, wherein the internal sensor system (228) comprises a plurality of sensors within the communication adapter, the sensors comprising one or more of: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, and a magnetometer.
 
15. The method of any of claims 9 to 14, wherein the internal sensor data provides one or more of: a position, an orientation, and a g-load coordinated with time stamping.
 




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