An ongoing drive to increase safety in the aeronautics industry has the potential to save lives and maintain Europe's position as a pioneer in the industry. In principle, aeronautical components are designed based on the damage tolerance concept, which requires very accurate knowledge on fracture resistance and crack growth rate, among other crucial indications. One new high-tech approach in this direction embraces the introduction of simulation-supported probability of detection (POD) and non-destructive testing (NDT) simulation. In this context, the EU-funded project 'Improved reliability inspection of aeronautic structure through simulation supported POD' (PICASSO) built powerful new NDT software to detect structural flaws of components more efficiently. In more specific terms, the project team worked on advanced ways to determine the curve that calculates the probability to detect defects (probability vs. defect size). This generally requires complicated and costly POD procedures, an issue that PICASSO has overcome using novel NDT simulation tools, to yield less costly and more reliable POD determinations. To achieve its aims, the project team characterised defects and described components in question. It employed three-dimensional (3D) tools and computer-assisted design (CAD) technology to create the NDT software, integrating a modelling strategy for uncertainties and validating their observations through simulation runs. Results of the project so far have been the successful validation of simulation supported POD, including implementation strategy and involved methodology. This advanced technology is expected to contribute to the European standard in testing damage tolerance and advancing safety. The end results will be increased safety for passengers and crew, as well as a stronger and more competitive industry.
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6 November 2019