Integration of a Guided Wave-based Damage Detection System for the C-5 Aircraft

Period of Performance: 09/21/2015 - 09/20/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Metis Design Corp.
205 Portland St Array
Boston, MA 02114
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:This proposal presents tasks leading to an integrated flight test of a structural health monitoring (SHM) system to monitor damage in the C-5 aircraft material with minimal manual intervention. During Phase I, MDC focused on the design of a sensor hardware for SHM that makes use of a distributed infrastructure. The original Phase II effort focused on the fabrication and testing of a prototype of this SHM infrastructure. During this Phase II extension, MDC seeks to mature, integrate and test this SHM system on the C-5. Tasks will focus on sensor placement optimization, algorithm calibration for these locations, a probability of detection assessment, airworthiness assessment, and an integration exercise. This work will follow the appropriate MIL standards, including 810G, 461G and 1823A. Finally, the program will end in an integrated flight test demonstration to include multiple different sensing technologies and a ground station with user interface. The goal of the project is to be in a position to be able to conform to ASIP standards at the conclusion to be used as an alternative means of compliance for conventional NDI methods.BENEFIT:Once successfully demonstrated through a Phase II effort, there exists a broad commercial market for this SHM method. One of the key success factors for this technology is its versatility; the ability not only to be integrated into new applications, but to be retrofitted into an existing asset designs. The continuum crack gauge could be applied to composite or metallic structure, be used to find new damage, track existing damage growth, or be applied as part of a bonded repair to check effectiveness in crack arrest. Initial relevant markets would include DoD fixed-wing aircraft, but the technology could easily proliferate into any DoD asset, ranging from rotorcraft to ships and ground vehicles, to aid in condition based maintenance. Once demonstrated in defense applications, comparable commercial opportunities exist, particularly for aircraft and potentially buildings and civil infrastructure once the production cost has been driven low enough. MDC will work through strategic partners to license the technology for production and deployment.