Hot-Spot Fatigue and Impact Damage Detection on a Helicopter Tailboom
ARMY AVIATION AND MISSILE RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENG CTR FORT EUSTIS VA AVIATION APPLIED TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE
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Monitoring the health of aircraft components and identifying problems before they can affect airworthiness has been a long-term goal in aviation. Current maintenance procedures are performed on a conservative, calendar or usage-based schedule rather than condition-based. These scheduled maintenance practices are time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive. Furthermore, as structures age, maintenance service frequency often unscheduled and costs increase while performance and availability decrease. A promising solution to these issues is the application and integration of Condition Based Maintenance CBM and Structural Health Monitoring SHM technologies and processes. To enable more efficient and effective airframe maintenance, fatigue cracking and impact damage detection technologies were developed and demonstrated on a commercial tailboom. This paper discusses the application of SMART Layer technology to detect damage caused by cyclic loads and ballistic impact on the tailboom. The damage locations and sizes were compared with the computed values from the SHM system.