Future health monitoring concepts in different fields of engineering require reliable fault detection to avoid unscheduled machine downtime. Diagnosis of electrical induction machines for industrial applications is widely discussed in literature. In aviation industry, this topic is still only rarely discussed. A common approach to health monitoring for electrical induction machines is to use Motor Current Signature Analysis (MCSA) based on a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Research results on this topic are available for comparatively large motors, where the power supply is typically based on 50Hz alternating current, which is the general power supply frequency for industrial applications.
In this paper, transferability to airborne applications, where the power supply is 400Hz, is assessed. Three phase asynchronous motors are used to analyse detectability of different motor faults. The possibility to transfer fault detection results from 50Hz to 400Hz induction machines is the main question answered in this research work. 400Hz power supply frequency requires adjusted motor design, causing increased motor speed compared to 50Hz supply frequency. The motor used for experiments in this work is a 800W motor with 200V phase to phase power supply, powering an avionic fan. The fault cases to be examined are a bearing fault, a rotor unbalance, a stator winding fault, a broken rotor bar and a static air gap eccentricity. These are the most common faults in electrical induction machines which can cause machine downtime. The focus of the research work is the feasibility of the application of MCSA for small scale, high speed motor design, using the Fourier spectra of the current signal.
Detectability is given for all but the bearing fault, although rotor unbalance can only be detected in case of severe damage level. Results obtained in the experiments are interpreted with
respect to the motor design. Physical interpretation are given in case the results differ from those found in literature for 50Hz electrical machines.
fault detection, aircraft systems, Bearing Faults, Unbalance, Motor Current Signature Analysis, stator winding faults, broken rotor bars, air gap eccentricity, 400 Hz power supply
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