Aerospace Vehicle Structural Health Monitoring with Acoustic Emissions and Acousto-Ultrasonics

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Description of work:

Smart materials and structures are essential to ensure the safe, efficient, and effective operation of assets such as aircraft. The concept of structural health monitoring is to give a structure a central nervous system such that it is capable of sensing, detecting, and monitoring its own health and reporting that for human intervention (such as maintenance activities for an aircraft), or in the far future, to activate automatic or autonomous repair systems and technologies. In this project, the use of acoustic signals (specifically ultrasound) will be used to assess and characterise damage in various materials and structures (composites, aluminium etc). These signals can be acoustic emissions from cracking or impacts, or they could be acousto-ultrasonic signals actively generated in the material/structure by an actuator. The sensing technologies utilised will involve high speed laser vibrometery, piezoelectric transducers, and optical fibre sensors. A primary goal will be the successful localisation and characterisation of damage, and advanced signal processing with machine learning will likely be utilised to achieve this.