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Optical Fiber Based Structural Integrity Monitoring of UAV Structure during Full-Scale Static and Fatigue Tests

URI BEN-SIMON, SHAY SHOHAM, ROY DAVIDI, NADAV GOLDSTEIN, IDDO KRESSEL, TAL YEHOSHUA, MOSHE TUR

Abstract


An optical fiber based Rayleigh backscattering distributed strain sensing system was adopted as the main structural integrity monitoring tool for the IAI's HERON-TP UAV Full-Scale fatigue and ultimate tests. The strain signature along all major structural elements, as measured by the optical fibers, at each loading step was recorded and analyzed in real time. A specially developed human interface enabled easy tracking of emerging damage-related non-linear phenomena. This sensing concept reduces the need for adding hundreds of electrical strain gauges and eliminates intermediate conventional structural inspections during test, all leading to reducing test duration and cost.

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