On-board SHM System Architecture and Operational Concept for Small Commuter Aircraft

Jindřich Finda and Radek Hédl
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
phmce_14_057.pdf332.48 KBJune 23, 2014 - 4:40am

The SHM application has been the key topic of discussions on a scientific and philosophical level for many years. Significant progress has been done in the area of the defect detection technology in recent years. Today, the main goal is definition of business case for the SHM implementation and transferring the SHM technology to the real application. The SHM system installation on aircraft brings new challenging issues that have to be solved. It introduces an application of new ideas and solutions. Common understanding of system and structure definition, function, and design should be changed in case of SHM. In connection with the SHM application we must talk more about smart structure philosophy.
The paper deals with design and development of the SHM system for L-410 NG commuter aircraft based on the excitation, sensing and analysis of ultrasonic guided waves using PZT actuators. The SHM system is designed for monitoring of critical parts of metallic airframe that are hard to access or completely inaccessible for common inspection methods used in the aircraft maintenance. The work is focused on the on-board SHM architecture and operational concept that are designed with respect to modularity and weight minimization of the SHM system components. The SHM system components include: PZT sensor network, small lightweight switches for switching signals between sensors / actuators, and a Sensor Control Unit (SCU) for managing signal measurement for particular sensor network. The design puts emphasis on high level of integration of the sensor system with airframe and on integration of the SCU within aircraft avionic system in order to achieve highly automated data acquisition and data transfer process to make the health data available for on-ground analysis. Finally, a scenario of the SHM system operation in accordance to the L-410 NG maintenance plan is proposed in the paper. The scenario assumes replacement of general inspections that are done within regular maintenance checks by the automated inspections using SHM system. Challenges of the proposed scenario from the point of view of the aircraft certification and operation are discussed as well.

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Submission Keywords: 
PZT sensor
Submission Topic Areas: 
Structural health monitoring
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