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Proceedings Paper

Crack growth detection and monitoring using broadband acoustic emission techniques
Author(s): Eric D. Haugse; Tamara J. Leeks; Roy Ikegami; Patrick E. Johnson; Steve M. Ziola; John F. Dorighi; Scott May; Neal Phelps
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Paper Abstract

This paper will provide an overview of an approach that will autonomously detect and monitor crack growth in aircraft structure. Present day computer technologies make it possible to put a small computer and sensor system on an aircraft to monitor structural health at locations that are difficult and costly to inspect through more traditional techniques. The health of the monitored locations can be determined by the end user through normal operations, thereby providing a significant reduction in scheduled maintenance requirements. All types of aircraft suffer from structural cracking. Even though the location of the crack can often be predicted, the inspections required are costly, often requiring significant structural disassembly. Sometimes there is an unacceptable level of uncertainty in NDI results, leading to more frequent inspections and even greater costs due to prematurely replaced structure. Broadband Acoustic Emission (BAE) systems have demonstrated the capability to detect crack growth in structure. Such a system can autonomously monitor aircraft structure during operation and provide information necessary to detect crack growth, determine the source location and monitor crack growth without disassembly. This paper will present an overview of the BAE approach to crack monitoring. Results from proof-of-concept testing will be included with comparisons to BAE waveform analysis results. Conclusions, system requirements and a preliminary design of the electronics and software necessary for an aircraft crack monitoring flight, system will also be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 January 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3586, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware III, (28 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339897
Show Author Affiliations
Eric D. Haugse, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Tamara J. Leeks, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Roy Ikegami, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Patrick E. Johnson, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Steve M. Ziola, Digital Wave Corp. (United States)
John F. Dorighi, Digital Wave Corp. (United States)
Scott May, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Neal Phelps, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3586:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware III
Ajit K. Mal, Editor(s)

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