Operational Loads Measurement: A Philosophy and Its Implementation.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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A philosophy of operational data acquisition, for structural objectives, within the general field of in-flight load measurement is reviewed, highlighting the constraints such activities place on the data acquisition system. This Report describes one such system which can be tailored to perform a variety of tasks ranging from the collection of time histories of flight parameters or strain gauges to complex fatigue load analyses throughout the airframe. The system comprises a digital cassette recorder and a data acquisition unit within which a microcompressor is used for control of data acquisition and in-flight data analysis. System requirements in terms of accuracy, bandwidth and sampling rates are discussed for a range of aircraft types and operating conditions. The various modes of operation of the system are illustrated by examples drawn from operational experience with the system. These demonstrate the capability of the system to produce data suitable for automatic analysis in a variety of operational environments in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The examples clearly show the value of studying operational data in terms of fatigue life management, fatigue life monitoring, operational practices and design procedures.
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