Demonstration of a Structural Damage Detection System in Fast Jet Flight Trials
A structural damage detection system has been used to sense the propagation of cracks in a metallic flight test specimen on board a Hawk jet trainer. The work has demonstrated that the growth of structural cracks can be successfully and automatically detected on board a fast jet while flying unrestricted flight profiles. The experiment was part of a European collaborative defense program designed to demonstrate a number of diverse structural health monitoring technologies during flight in a military jet environment. This paper focuses on the performance of an acoustic emission detection system that was able to detect the growth of cracks in an alloy cantilever specimen bolted to a structural bulkhead in a pod suspended beneath the aircraft's left hand wing.