The Importance of Monitoring and Protecting Assets During Storage and Transport

Monitoring and Protecting Assets

While in transit to the customer site or the final assembly location, high-value assets such as aerospace systems should be monitored and protected. OMEGA has developed an automated data collection system with wireless sensors to address the limitations of standard solutions and thus protect high-value assets. The proactive and continuous monitoring, provided by OMEGA, allows users to take preventative action before damage could occur in sensitive assets and thus reduce the impact of any deviations from the specified environment.

Problem

Aerospace engineers are well aware that high-value assets, such as propellant tanks, propellant fuel and control panel assemblies, have to be maintained in controlled environments during all stages of production, storage and transportation. For instance, exposure to extreme temperature or humidity during storage can lead to irreparable damage to sensitive components and cause millions of dollars of losses. Even worse, an undetected defect may lead to catastrophic failure during operation.

The conventional approach to asset monitoring has been to connect passive humidity/temperature monitors to inventoried items. These require a periodic manual survey of all inventoried items, which is prone to human error and also labor intensive. Since it simply reacts to issues that have already occurred, it is also not a continuous monitoring solution. What the industry needs is a proactive, preventative strategy.

Solution

The ZW Wireless Monitoring System has been specifically designed by OMEGA to provide data security and assurance that is essential for protecting high-value aerospace assets such as rocket engines.

The robust solution of OMEGA comprises of installing individual sensor nodes that often sample the environment and pass on the data to a receiver that keeps a complete database of all sampled data. Besides offering in-situ monitoring, the probe units can continuously monitor even when it is removed from the wireless environment during transportation. The outcome is a full audit trail through the complete life cycle of the assets.

Results

OMEGA’s ZW Series offers many benefits, including power management, data assurance and data security. Data losses can happen at various levels: Ethernet connectivity loss, radio loss or receiver loss. Usually, these types of failures are quickly corrected, but loss of data during downtime can leave millions of dollars of valuable materials at risk. OMEGA® ZW Series wireless receivers give confirmation to the transmitter that the data has been received correctly, with automatic retransmission as required.

Data logging at every possible failure point allows the data to be recovered after system restoration. Furthermore, the power conservation feature allows the user to unplug the humidity/temperature sensor while continuing to log environmental data during transport of precious material — therefore offering continuous coverage.

A main concern in all industries is cybersecurity, which is particularly important to military and aerospace suppliers. The environmental data itself may not be of importance to adversaries, but the inferred information concerning material movement, quantities and dates may be very sensitive. The ZW Series provides complete 128-bit SSL encryption to protect against any interruptions.

Very often, wireless product power management presents a major problem, particularly for the extension of battery life. The ZW Series employs adaptive transmission rates depending on the measured data exceeding specified thresholds and local data logging that enables burst transmission to extend battery life. In addition, this power management feature minimizes cost by extending the product lifetime and reducing maintenance.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by OMEGA Engineering Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit OMEGA Engineering Ltd.

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