SHM TB30:Methodology and tools for assessing the structural health and life extension of aircraft

Project code: NORTE-01-0247-FEDER-017892

Main goal: Reinforcing research, technological development and innovation

Region of intervention: NORTE

Beneficiary entity: CRITICAL MATERIALS S.A.

Approval date: 09/23/2016

Start date: 01-10-2016

End date: 09-30-2019

Total eligible cost: EUR 390.920,10

Funding from the European Union: EUR 300.457,75


The SHM-TB30 project aims at creating and developing an innovative data analysis system through the implementation of a methodology and respective advanced tools for assessing the structural condition of a fleet of aircraft, enabling monitoring of their operation, in order to optimize maintenance plan and a possible extension of the useful life of the aircraft, at an acceptable cost.

The project seeks to implement an innovative program for the management of the structural condition of aircraft fleets that includes monitoring of usage (operating load), the structural condition (diagnosis of structural health) and the management of the consumption of its useful life (prognosis of the condition). The integration of the operational loading monitoring (OLM - Operational Monitoring Loading) and the diagnosis of the condition (SHM) will develop new tools that enable the assessment of the structural condition of the aircraft with reduced instrumentation (sensors and data acquisition systems), reducing costs. The strategy includes the complete instrumentation of two aircraft, the elaboration of transfer functions (flight data- operational loading-damage-useful life consumption), the reduced instrumentation of the remaining fleet (to reduce costs), and the integration of data and information on a software platform. These results define a methodology to implement an effective program of evaluation of the structural condition of critical components. Besides the aspects mentioned above, the instrumentation will allow evaluate and optimize the aircraft's maintenance plan, once known the severity of operation. The methodology is extensible to any fleet and fleet type.

Although the data analysis system will be tested in an aircraft in the aeronautic sector, the prototype developed in the project can be applied in other industrial sectors, such as offshore platforms, train wagons (railway sector), etc.

The project will be carried out by a partnership including entities from the national technological scientific system (CIDFA - Centre for Research, Development and Innovation of the Air Force and IST) and the business sector (Critical Materials).