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A Distributed, Embedded Sensor System for Detecting In-Flight Composite…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
2560 North Triphammer Road Ithaca, NY 14850-
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: A Distributed, Embedded Sensor System for Detecting In-Flight Composite Delamination
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $400,000.00


Modern aircraft contain more and more lightweight, but easily damaged, composite structures, with no way to detect in-flight composite delimination or impact damage. Innovative Dynamics (IDI) proposes to address this problem by developing a distributed damage detection system based on embedded piezoelectric actuators/sensors. Prior IDI research showed that an embedded piezoceramic actuator/sensor array can detect and locate delaminations, and that the embedded array had little effect on tensile strength. Other IDI research with metal aircraft has shown that surface-mounted arrays can detect damage to aluminum panels. We propose to adapt this simple, inexpensive "engines off" ground inspection technology for in-flight detection. First we will build up composite panels from V-22 materials and manufacturing specs and embed sensors inside (and on) selected panels. Panels will be destructively tested to assess how the embedded sensors affect tensile and bending strength, and the remaining ones will undergo shaker and ground run-up tests to simulate flight vibrations. We will develop a damage detection algorithm by applying proven signal processing/pattern recognition algorithms to sensor signals taken before and after induced delamination.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Fitzgerald

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
Langmuir Lab, M/s 244, 95 Brown Road Ithaca, NY 14850

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No