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Proceedings Paper

Surface-mounted periodic field eddy current sensors for structural health monitoring
Author(s): Neil J. Goldfine; Vladimir A. Zilberstein; Darrell E. Schlicker; Yanko Sheiretov; Karen Walrath; Andrew P. Washabaugh; Douglas Van Otterloo
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Paper Abstract

Surface mountable eddy current sensors are a revolutionary new concept in nondestructive inspection. These eddy current sensors can be mounted, like a strain gage, at critical locations for detection of crack initiation and monitoring of crack growth. This can be accomplished on a fatigue test article, as well as on in-service aircraft or other structures (patents pending). The mountable periodic field eddy current sensors, described in this paper, can be used as a replacement for standard eddy-current sensors without introducing new requirements. This is not the case with other proposed health monitoring sensors. For critical structures, substantially reduced inspection costs and life extension is possible with permanently mounted eddy current sensors. This is particularly true for difficult-to-access locations that require surface preparation (e.g., sealant or insulation removal) and disassembly when conventional eddy current testing is performed. By enabling eddy current testing in areas currently not accessible to conventional inspection, such as locations deep in an aircraft structure, damage tolerance can be achieved with low cost inspections. Embedded versions might even be mounted between layers, such as in a lapjoint. Surface mountable eddy current sensors are suitable for on-line monitoring and in-service inspections. This paper provides an introduction to surface mountable eddy current sensors, presents specific results from fatigue coupon tests and describes upcoming full-scale aircraft fatigue tests. Also, ongoing efforts to implement this technology on commercial and military aircraft are described. This research has been funded in part by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, JENTEK Sensors, Inc., and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. The goal of this paper is to provide a basic understanding of surface mounted eddy current sensor capabilities and potential, and to promote their broader use in fatigue testing, aircraft health monitoring as well as for health monitoring of non-aerospace structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 2001
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4335, Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring, (24 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.434180
Show Author Affiliations
Neil J. Goldfine, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Vladimir A. Zilberstein, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Darrell E. Schlicker, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Yanko Sheiretov, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Karen Walrath, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Andrew P. Washabaugh, JENTEK Sensors, Inc. (United States)
Douglas Van Otterloo, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4335:
Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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