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Advanced in-flight measurement Techniques

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In-flight testing technology for easier certification

European scientists modified optical imaging techniques used for inspection and maintenance to enable in-flight measurement on large and small aeroplanes and helicopters.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

Aircraft designs are subjected to extensive testing in order to acquire certification. The process includes wind tunnel tests, simulations and in-flight experimental investigations. A European consortium initiated the 'Advanced in-flight measurement techniques' (AIM) project to advance the state of non-destructive optical imaging methods for use during flight. In particular, they sought methods easily applicable to existing large transport aircraft, helicopters and light aircraft designs. Magneto-optical imaging (MOI) is increasingly used for aircraft inspection during manufacturing and maintenance. Researchers adapted such methodologies for in-flight use to monitor information related to wing and propeller deformation, air flow in the vicinity of aeroplanes and helicopters, and temperature distributions on helicopter components. Scientists successfully developed several measurement setups, some of which have already been tested on aircraft. In addition, they identified numerous in-flight applications to be pursued in coming years. In-flight measurement technology provided by the AIM consortium should help reduce certification time and cost and enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s aeroplane and helicopter manufacturers.

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