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In-field CFRP surfaces Contamination Assessment by aRtificial Olfaction tool


"In CFRP bonded repair applications, it is mandatory to ensure surface cleanliness for achieving robustness and reliability of the bonds. Unfortunately, aircrafts surfaces can be affected by several potential contamination sources that may hamper the bond strength; such contaminations have to be detected before a bonded repair takes place. Maintenance and repair operating conditions also requires that any contamination detection technique should be operated on a portable basis and measurement results be readily available to the operator. Artificial olfaction (AO) technologies could represent an optimal framework to develop such a detection tool (i.e. an electronic nose). They are based on the integration of gas sensing devices and pattern recognition (PR) algorithms. Their working principle mimics mammals olfaction systems: a gas sensor array, being exposed to a gas mixture, produces a distinct response pattern that can be interpreted by software components to produce qualitative and quantitative estimation on the mixture composition. Our proposal addresses the investigation of AO technology suitability and the development of an e-nose prototype for surfaces contamination detection to be used in bonded repair of aircraft composite structures. The selection of an ad-hoc sensing array will be carried out, investigating the use of several gas sensors based on different operating principles. Their capability to reliably react to volatiles emitted by potential aeronautics contaminants (e.g. skydrol, fuels, etc.) and to exhibit limited drift behavior will be firstly investigated in controlled environment. Once a response database will be recorded, a PR component will be designed and developed to provide qualitative and quantitative readings. Design and development efforts of a final prototype inspection tool will be focused on portability in order to achieve operative capability."

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/artificial intelligence/pattern recognition
  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/sensors
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/composites/carbon fiber
  • /engineering and technology/mechanical engineering/vehicle engineering/aerospace engineering/aircraft

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

JTI-CS - Joint Technology Initiatives - Clean Sky


Lungotevere Grande Ammiraglio Thaon Di Revel 76
000196 Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 177 777,75
Administrative Contact
Saverio De Vito (Dr.)