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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.