Data Acquisition Systems


Introduction


FADAS™ (Fully Automated Data Acquisition System) has been developed by Vital Link using standard commercial off the shelf equipment (COTS) to meet the demanding requirements of current and future aircraft engine testing. Whether military or civilian, an overhaul specialist or development end user, FADAS™ will enable safe, dependable, repeatable, efficient and cost effective engine testing.

Standard FADAS Features


FADAS™ utilizes the very latest in technology and software development to provide all the features and functionality of a traditional engine test system including:


  • Analogue and Digital Displays
  • Alarm Panel
  • Audio and Visual Cues
  • Transient and Steady State Recording
  • Event Logs
  • Critical systems redundant back-up
  • Critical systems power back-up
  • Proven Off the Shelf equipment with global support
  • Data print out to required formats
  • Customised Displays
  • System Help Files
  • Data Backup
  • Digital I/O
  • Data capture and processing of multiple signal types
  • High System Accuracy typically 0.01 % FS
  • System Scan Rates up to 1000 Hz per Channel
  • Real Time, Deterministic with Synchronous Data Logging
  • Standard Day data processing
  • Vibration monitoring including FFT and Spectrum Analysis

Example Turbo-shaft Engine Screen


Enhanced FADAS Features


FADAS™ is flexible in its design, implementation and use and can be tailored to your specific requirements, now and in the future. Enhanced FADAS ™ features include:


  • Fully Automated Engine Test
  • Facility and Engine Touch Screen Control
  • Data Bus Interface
  • Electronic Throttle
  • Remote Monitoring
  • Performance Software
  • Technical Publications Suite

FADAS™ incorporates numerous features and enhancements over more traditional and standard engine test systems. These features better present data to operators, managers and original engine manufacturers across multiple platforms, sites and regions of the world.


The Fully automated test features include automatic engine starting, shutdown and specific engine testing as required by the engine manufacturer procedures. Throughout the tests, all engine parameters are monitored to ensure healthy status, and the data capture is performed without the need to involve the operator. Where necessary to involve the operator, for example to carry out a leak check, the system will advise the operator to carry out a check. The test profiles may also be configured by the end user to allow for periodic modification to the engine running procedures.


The Automatic Test system ensures all engine running carried out, produces accurate engine data that is correctly evaluated with schedules. The lower level of operator input reduces the likelihood of error and ensures that the operator has greater freedom to monitor the physical engine and parameter readings.


For manual control, Engine and Facility operation can be carried out with the use of software configured touch screen control panels.


Example Touch Screen Control Panel

Software screen control panels have the benefit of being readily configurable should buttons need to be moved around or if additional controls need including. They also offer the user the ability to locate multiple control panels in a single location, which is a particularly useful in facilities operating more than one engine type or variant.


Flexibility


The FADAS™ system can be configured for all types of gas turbine engine testing and operation and is highly adaptable to your specification. Each FADAS™ display is constructed, as required, from a library of software generated objects. FADAS™ system software also provides a number of user-friendly tools and features which help the operator to perform engine tests both safely and efficiently.


Inherent within the FADAS™ system is the ability to monitor all parameters for warning and alarm conditions. Exceeding set threshold conditions results in a number of automated actions which include audio and on-screen visual cues, event logging and automated engine shutdown.


System Architecture


The VLE FADAS™ technology is a fully scalable system capable of providing from 1 to over 2000 input channels. Various levels of Scan rates and accuracy are available and suitable hardware is selected to meet the demands as required by the client. VLE has experience with a number of data acquisition products, including PXI, SCXI, PLC, e-bloxx, so the most suitable system can be utilised to minimise costs.


Plug and play channel modules require minimal configuration with the system architecture allowing a full range from small modular, portable packaged systems to large scale, fixed and multi-engine facilities.


System configuration flexibility allows for various engine digital communication interfaces including; RS232, RS422, RS485, ARINC and MIL-STD-1553.


Mechanical, Electro-Mechanical and Electronic throttle system options available including fully automated engine control throttles.



Options


Due to the flexibility of FADAS™ and varying customer and end user specifications FADAS™ can be fully integrated and supplied with a number of options, including:


  • CCTV
  • Intercom
  • Weather Station

Engine Performance Software


The Vital Link FADAS™ system can either export a scan data file in an agreed format for reading by the Engine OEM generated and supplied data reduction software, or alternatively VL can provide the data reduction software package based upon the engine OEM algorithms and data fit curves

Vital Link Engine Performance Calculator

Vital Link has experience with producing Performance scan files in multiple formats, including .csv, .txt, .xml and in bespoke layout formats to be read in correctly by Engine OEM software.


A piece of interface software is often required where performance programmes are provided in .dll format for example. Vital Link software can be utilised to permit the operators to select the necessary files to be processed by the Engine OEM software, and subsequently archive performance results for review at a later time. Vital Link has a wealth of experience dealing with customers and Engine OEMs to ensure that any interface is user friendly and functionally complete.


Vital Link Performance Interface Tool