New technology is set to reduce downtime of army vehicles in the field by detecting damage to critical suspension components through a state-of-the-art speed bump.

Researchers have developed a technology that can detect faults when military vehicles are driven over a ‘diagnostic cleat’ containing sensors.

Purdue University’s Center for Systems Integrity is working with the US Army and Honeywell International to develop the technology.

Purdue University Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Douglas Adams said that its aim is to save time and costs, but more importantly reduce downtime by catching damage before it leads to failure in the field.

“Operating and maintenance costs for military weapons systems accounted for about 60% of the $500bn US Department of Defense budget in 2006,” Adams said.

“Better diagnostic and prognostic technologies could reduce this expense and ensure readiness of ground vehicle fleets.”

The vehicles are driven over a jacketed speed bump that contains triaxial accelerometers that can measure the vibrations the vehicle’s tyres apply to the cleat. Damage is detected in tyres, wheel bearings and the suspension.

By staff writer.