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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 26589
Amount: $400,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1996
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
Langmuir Lab, M/s 244, 95, Brown Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Fitzgerald
 (607) 257-0533
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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