Development of Integrated Measurement Systems
The aim of the project is to develop advanced integrated testing methods that have the capability to detect a crack or delamination in a metallic or composite structure and have the potential to be deployed as part of an on-board structural health monitoring system for passenger aircraft. The proposal incorporates a new philosophy for monitoring damage in which the disturbance to the strain field in the structure caused by the damage is used to identify significant damage and to track its propagation. Recently, this approach has been demonstrated to be at least as effective in composite structures as traditional non-destructive evaluation techniques and, in CS2 project INSTRUCTIVE using infrared technology, it has been shown to be capable of identifying smaller cracks in metallic structures than any other available technique.
In this project, it is proposed to amalgamate these innovations with more established techniques, such as strain gauges and acoustic emission, and to demonstrate an integrated testing method. The objectives are designed to mature technologies from TRL 4 to 6 that are likely to have a disruptive impact on the structural health monitoring of next generation large passenger aircraft. The objectives are:
- to develop a robust and innovative concept for integrating a diverse set of sensors and data acquisition systems for detecting and monitoring damage in an aircraft assembly;
- to produce an integrated system of sensors and data acquisition systems deployed on a test bench representing a centre fuselage section with integrated cabin and system elements, and;
- to conduct prototype demonstration and evaluation tests of the integrated system and test bench using independent systems.
The primary outcome will be the demonstration, on a test bench consisting of a fuselage centre section, of an integrated measurement system for ‘on-line’ detecting and monitoring damage based on a diverse range of sensor systems.