Original Date: 04/26/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Unsteady Data Reduction and Analysis System
Unsteady data is produced by many natural phenomena such as fluctuating pressure loads, flow instabilities, cavitation noise, and sonic booms. However, this type of data must undergo significant processing before meaningful results can be obtained, which makes real-time analysis difficult. To speed up the process, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) implemented an Unsteady Data Reduction and Analysis system in May 1998 to handle data generated by cold flow testing of high flow-rate turbines and pumps. In the past, the Center’s analysis method involved collecting cold flow test data on analog tapes and sending them to another building for processing. Here, engineers converted the data from an analog to a digital format, loaded the information into a computer, and performed various analyses. Extra time was often spent importing data into various software packages to do data summary and graphing. Results took at least a full day or longer, which could create delays if the next test was dependent on the preceding test’s results.
MSFC’s Unsteady Data Reduction and Analysis system performs near-real-time analysis by using three systems: the Computer Aided Dynamic Data Monitoring and Analysis System (CADDMAS); the Operator Interactive Signal Processing System (OISPS); and the Coherent Phase Cavitation Monitoring System (CPCMS). The CADDMAS is a parallel processor with 32 high frequency input channels that collects, stores, and performs real-time data analysis. The OISPS performs conventional and advanced signal analysis on the data, and the CPCMS determines the cavitation intensity.
Since implementing the Unsteady Data Reduction and Analysis system, MSFC realized faster test throughput, real- time identification of measurement problems, monitoring capabilities for anomalous results, and a user-friendly format for data. Although this system was designed for cold flow testing of high flow-rate turbines and pumps, the concept could be used on other tests where unsteady data is collected. Future plans include making the Unsteady Data Reduction and Analysis system able to handle system upgrades and be accessible by multiple code developers.
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