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Austrian Structural Health Monitoring System Demonstrator

Project Funding:
Austrian national programm „Takeoff“
Project Coordination:
Project Partners:
EADS-IW; EADS-M, Airbus,
Bernard Ing., FACC, Siemens,
ARC, IMA, Joanneum; ÖAW, Profactor, SCCH

With the usual maintenance methods, aircraft must be serviced at regular intervals. It is well known that the amount of fibre bundle (carbon fibre laminate) materials used is increasing. This offers dormant potential. However, the utilisation of this potential is currently not possible because the detection of difficult to see impact damage is still sashmosd_aubject to unacceptably high uncertainties. The implementation of online structural health monitoring (SHM) systems in largely inaccessible areas of these carbon fibre laminate aeronautics components will greatly lower maintenance costs and reduce the weight by up to 25%. This in turn reduces fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions as well.

ashmosd_bThe goal of the project is the development, implementation and verification of an online damage monitoring system. This will be installed in a fibre bundle component of wide-bodied aircraft. With this system, it will be possible to detect the delamination of layers caused by compressive loads in compound materials. Initially, ultrasonic radar, in the form of a hybrid piezo actuator and a fibre-optic detector field, was chosen and initial successful tests completed. The system will later be integrated in a real component in order to verify functionality under simulated real world conditions.

The expected cost savings offer considerable potential for developers, manufacturers and suppliers of such damage monitoring systems in the aviation market. Other areas of application are the monitoring of critical components for cargo tankers, power plants and civil infrastructure.