Structural Health Monitoring in Civil Aviation: Applications and Integration 2013-01-2220
In civil aviation the main driver for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is to provide maintenance and ownership benefits. The maintenance benefits are defined in terms of improving maintenance planning, increasing inspection intervals and reducing inspection cost. The ownership benefits can be measured in residual value and life extension.
In this paper different aspects of SHM implementation are discussed for fatigue monitoring and fatigue damage sensing with a consideration of minimizing challenges for SHM implementation. First, the current Fatigue Monitoring implementation scenarios for the most representative agile military aircraft are reviewed. In the following some aircraft utilization results obtained from analyzing different airlines are presented. The obtained results show a better possibility of categorizing fleet of an airline in comparison with agile military aircraft. Based on these results a concept for fatigue monitoring of a civil aircraft is proposed that can be implemented with a minimum certification challenges. Cumulative damage calculated based on the proposed concept shows potential opportunity for more granulated life evaluation, which can result in up to 25% fatigue maintenance interval extension by adding take-off weight part of the fatigue parameters. Second, a typical recognized application for fatigue damage sensing using Acousto-Ultrasonics technology is presented and a typical inspection result that can be expected from the SHM system is discussed. In addition, some specific experimental observations for sensors' performance are presented that need to be taken into account at low Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) where the SHM solution performance is evaluated.