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Methodology for SHM Application in Maintenance of Damage Tolerant Aircraft Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247606D
Publication Date: 2016-Sep-20
Document File: 7 page(s) / 405K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Jindrich Finda, Cenek Sandera, Michal Mrazek: INVENTOR

Abstract

With minimization of Aircraft Operating Costs (AOC) in commercial aerospace, costs related to aircraft maintenance procedures are also being minimized. To reduce cost, technologies like Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) are being designed for automating aircraft maintenance schedules. Currently, Damage Tolerance (DT) is a design concept used for structural damage dealing and structural service life estimation. The DT approach requires regular inspections of the aircraft structure by maintenance staff. Currently, there is no certified SHM system implemented in the aircraft maintenance schedules. The proposed solution incorporates the SHM technology in the existing framework of the aircraft maintenance schedules.

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Methodology for SHM Application in Maintenance of Damage Tolerant Aircraft Structure

Jindrich Finda, Cenek Sandera, Michal Mrazek

ABSTRACT

With minimization of Aircraft Operating Costs (AOC) in commercial aerospace, costs related to aircraft maintenance procedures are also being minimized. To reduce cost, technologies like Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) are being designed for automating aircraft maintenance schedules. Currently, Damage Tolerance (DT) is a design concept used for structural damage dealing and structural service life estimation. The DT approach requires regular inspections of the aircraft structure by maintenance staff. Currently, there is no certified SHM system implemented in the aircraft maintenance schedules. The proposed solution incorporates the SHM technology in the existing framework of the aircraft maintenance schedules.


1. INTRODUCTION

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technology can be used in the aviation industry in several sectors such as design, manufacturing, operation and maintenance. In the maintenance sector, the SHM based on various technologies (ultrasound, eddy current, etc.) provides continuous/periodic monitoring of the aircraft structure using integrated sensors. The SHM technology helps in identifying damages (along with type, size and criticality of damage) in an aircraft structure. The use of SHM technology helps in reducing time and cost involved in maintenance procedures, besides improving the accuracy in results. In spite of apparent advantages of SHM technology, the use of SHM technology in maintenance procedures of aircraft structure is minimal. This is due to issues like, non- availability of credible methods for SHM implementation with existing maintenance procedure in aircraft operations. Further, there are no existing certified SHM technologies used for aircraft maintenance. Hence, there is a need to deploy the SHM technology for aircraft maintenance.

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2. PROPOSED SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM

The proposed solution provides a method for implementing the SHM technology in an existing frame of the Damage Tolerance (DT) airframe design. DT is a dominant structural design concept developed for structural damage dealing. The DT concept uses a scheduled inspection plan, which is designed to assure detection of any structural damage before the damage reaches its critical size. In the proposed solution, the periodical inspections performed by maintenance staff are used in parallel with the inspections performed by an SHM system.

Based on the type of aircraft damage, and inputs from existing maintenance framework of damage tolerant aircraft structures, time intervals between inspections can be generated. The proposed solution combines the data from routine maintenance procedures like visual inspections/ nondestructive inspections (GVI/NDI) schedule and data received from the SHM inspection to generate modified time intervals between SHM inspections. Using the combined data r...