Sounding Out the Stryker Fleet
The wheeled Stryker family of vehicles have performed well on the battlefields of Iraq, but any fleet with half-a-million miles on it is going to require inspection and maintenance. Enter the mechanical engineers at Purdue University, who teamed up with the US Army to design a portable test system using sound waves to detect damage to vehicles’ wheel assemblies.
The spindles they need to test can’t be removed and reassembled in the field because that could create additional problems. Ideally, the Army would like to be able to test the vehicles without having to jack them up and remove the tires. As you might guess, the folks at Purdue have a few ideas – ideas that are about to go into production and deployment. Douglas E. Adams, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, says:
“The suspension of this vehicle is an engineering wonder, and its complexity makes detecting cracks especially challenging… It’s like comparing the difference between the sound of a cracked bell and a bell that is undamaged.” Read The Engineer Online’s May 25, 2006 article “Sounding out vehicle defects” to find out more about their proposed solution.