Flight validation of an embedded structural health monitoring system for an unmanned aerial vehicle

I. Kressel, B. Dorfman, Y. Botsev, A. Handelman, J. Balter, A. C.R. Pillai, M. H. Prasad, N. Gupta, A. M. Joseph, R. Sundaram, M. Tur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents the design and flight validation of an embedded fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) based structural health monitoring (SHM) system for the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Nishant. The embedding of the sensors was integrated with the manufacturing process, taking into account the trimming of parts and assembly considerations. Reliable flight data were recorded on board the vehicle and analyzed so that deviations from normal structural behaviors could be identified, evaluated and tracked. Based on the data obtained, it was possible to track both the loads and vibration signatures by direct sensors' cross correlation using principal component analysis (PCA) and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Sensor placement combined with proper ground calibration, enabled the distinction between strain and temperature readings. The start of a minor local structural temporary instability was identified during landing, proving the value of such continuous structural airworthy assessment for UAV structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075022
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • fiber Bragg grating
  • smart structure
  • structural health monitoring

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