Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Ruggedized and Improved MEMS-based Sensors for Rolling Stock

James P Hofmeister, Wyatt Pena, Robert Wagoner, Douglas L Goodman

Abstract

This article describes work related to ruggedizing and improving an accelerometer-based sensor, RotoSense™, used for monitoring rolling stock: the locomotives and cars used in trains. A paper, “Accurate Vibration and Speed Measurement on Rotating Shafts using MEMS and IoT Single Wireless Triaxial Sensor,” was presented at the 2016 MFPT conference that described a sensor capable of measuring shaft speeds of up to 5500 RPM. That paper included two example applications: (1) a helicopter gearbox, and (2) conditioning monitoring of a railroad track. A second paper, “Improved RotoSense for Rolling Stock: Locomotives and Cars,” was presented at the 2018 MFPT conference: it described subsequent improvements to that sensor, in terms of ruggedizing and improving signal quality, to meet requirements of a manufacturer of rolling stock. Included in the description are the rationale, the methods, and the improved results. The sensor described in the first paper was the first known, and is still the only known, to survive, intact, three days of testing at the National Test Track Center in Pueblo, Colorado, including a 10-hour, non-stop, 400-mile test run. Even so, a manufacturer of rolling stock wanted more ruggedizing and better signal quality. This article expands that second paper by including additional details and a new section on improved battery life.

Keywords

RotoSense; MEMS; helicopter transmission; train axles; wheel hub; vibration; railroad tracks; ruggedization

Full Text:

PDF

References

Lewicki, D.G., Lambert, N.A., and Wagoner, R.S., (2015) “Evaluation of MEMS-Based Wireless Accelerometer Sensors in Detecting Gear Tooth Faults in Helicopter Transmissions,” NASA/TM-2015-218722.

Hofmeister, J.P., Goodman, D., and Wagoner, R. (2016), “Accurate Vibration and Speed Measurement on Rotating Shafts Using MEMS and IoT Single Wireless Triaxle Sensor,” Conference of the Society for Machine Failure Prevention Technology, Dayton, OH, 24-26 May, 2016.

Hofmeister, J.P., Pena, W., Wagoner, R., and Nielsen, M., (2017) “Improved RotoSense™ for Rolling Stock: Locomotives and Cars,” Conference of the Society for Machine Failure Prevention Technology, Virginia Beach, VA, 16-18

May, 2017.

Lindstrom, M., (2018) “What’s Wrong with My Piezoelectric Accelerometer?” PCB-TN-30-0418, MTS Systems Corporation, PCB Piezotronics, Depew, NY, April 2018.