Gas turbine engines often are considered the “heart” of airplanes and ships. Purdue University innovators looking for new solutions to reduce emissions and enhance operations of these engines have come up with technology similar to tests used on human hearts.

The electrocardiogram-type technology for gas turbine engines monitors rhythms and warn of potential compressor stall. Stall is a type of flow instability in compressors that sets the low-flow limit for gas turbine engine operation. When the compressor stalls, it can cause severe damage to gas turbine engines. Like a heart attack in humans, compressor stall can happen without apparent precursors.

The compressor stall warning technology uses sensors to record the data during operation and then uses a novel signal processing procedure to determine the engine’s status.