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Strategies for structural health monitoring implementation potential assessment in aircraft operational life extension considerations

: Kapoor, H.; Boller, C.; Giljohann, S.; Braun, C.

Postprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-1501037 (953 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 985eafb6710ff0d6505bf28fa6638e73
Created on: 14.1.2011

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfung e.V. -DGZfP-, Berlin:
International Symposium on NDT in Aerospace 2010. CD-ROM : November 22-24, 2010, Hamburg, Germany
Berlin: DGZfP, 2010 (DGZfP Proceedings BB 124)
ISBN: 978-3-940283-28-3
9 pp.
International Symposium on NDT in Aerospace <2, 2010, Hamburg>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZFP ()
automated NDT; SHM technologies; aircraft

The commercial aircraft operational life extension considerations are increasing with more shorter and longer range aircraft operating than ever in history. Aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul companies (MROs) serve a significant portion of the after-sales market. Though more aircraft are operating, the increasing after-sales market, particularly maintenance still remains very competitive. Cheaper labour forces existing in emerging economies and the arrival of next generation aircraft (Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner promising reduced maintenance costs) will cause additional pressures for MROs to operate efficiently and satisfy airline operators. One fundamental requirement for airliner operators will always remain apparent and that is the need to maximise their aircraft usage. State of the art, automated NDT applications for aircraft often also discussed within the context of structural health monitoring (SHM) are slowly developing and provide the prospect of reducing maintenance related down time, potentially increasing fleet usage. The questions of where and how these automated NDT and SHM technologies can be used on aircraft to bring about such benefits have yet to be fully addressed. The paper describes a method of analysing scheduled maintenance interval blocks to identify time critical areas. Automated NDT solutions with embedded sensors and faster decision support at such locations could contribute to elimination of unnecessary access and efficient information relayed to maintenance, repair and material handling teams. The method proposed was preliminarily applied to a short range aircraft across different types of scheduled maintenance interval blocks. Results highlighted significant benefits are likely to occur within shorter, more frequent scheduled maintenance intervals where inspections were intensive but specific to an area.