Objectives and content
Key design drivers behind public transportation systems are reliability and safety. This is achieved by good structural design supported by regular inspection and maintenance. A car for example will be inspected by a qualified mechanic and certified roadworthy. This process adds to the overall life cycle cost of the product, and for complex systems, such as aircraft, it can be a significant proportion.
Improved monitoring techniques, combined with improved material properties and better knowledge of materials behaviour has allowed significant extensions to the intervals between overhauls for various types of transportation systems in the past, from airlines to automobiles. It is anticipated that introducing a structural health and usage monitoring system is an important step to further extend these intervals. It is expected that this is not just a benefit for airlines and road transportation operators, but also to the various railway companies now emerging all over Europe.
The exploitation opportunities of the technologies in other markets, in addition to the primary fields, are significant. Currently there is interest from the civil and process engineering sector and also some applications are envisaged in the marine engineering community Further areas for exploitation include the chemical transport and storage industries where knowledge of the condition of transportation and containment devices is critical.
The objective of MONITOR programme is to develop an on-line health and usage monitoring system based on advanced load monitoring and damage detection technologies. The immediate aim is to achieve a minimum reduction in inspection of 20% within five years of project completion, which if related to civil airliners with a 20 year life, equates to approximately 2MEcu per aircraft and 400MEcu for a typical fleet operator.. Within the next ten years the system will be further developed, with an aim to reduce maintenance costs by 40%.
The consortium has been selected to ensure that the technology will ultimately be incorporated into a product. To ensure suitable product focus it comprises of large transport manufactures.
British Aerospace, Daimler Benz, Aerospatiale Alenia. It also has research establishments IOF, DLR, NLR, FFA, DRA, DNRS DR, ARTT and the University of Manchester who have access to comprehensive analysis and test facilities and considerable influence over the certification standards that the technologies would need to meet in-service.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
59652 Villeneuve D'ascq
GU14 0LX Farnborough - Hampshire
161 11 Bromma
100 44 Stockholm
8300 AD Emmeloord
S1 3JD Sheffield