The development and implementation of an integrated health management system has the potential to significantly enhance the reliability and readiness of high-value assets, while concurrently decreasing sustainment costs. A key aspect of this approach is on-board sensing to provide continual feedback on the evolving damage state at the material and component level. This paper summarizes the development and status of an embedded, thin-film, wireless, sensor for detecting and monitoring material damage state (i.e., cracking) in critical turbine engine components at elevated temperature. The potential benefits of on-board detection and monitoring of defects, as compared to periodic depot inspections, were previously assessed using probabilistic simulations. These results provided target sensitivities for the development of the thin-film sensor. The status of the sensor system is summarized including its ability to generate elastic waves and detect/monitor fatigue cracks in engineering materials at temperatures to 500°F (260°C). Crack detection sensitivities with and without load application are compared, as well as those for wired versus wireless signal transmission.

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