Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

New Proposal for Improvements in Communication and Power Systems for SHM Aircraft Networks



There are many communication and network systems that have been developed and implemented by the aeronautic manufacturers during the last decades to interconnect the many and very different sensors included in the aircraft. In the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) field, the quantity of SHM sensors to be installed inside an aircraft is of the order of hundreds or thousands, which complicates even more the complexity of the communication networks. The high consumption of all the SHM systems working at the same time and the complexity of the complete SHM network are critical aspects, besides the size and weight of the wiring, the periodicity of the sampling of these sensors, the data rate or the real-time requirements. Previous work of the authors presented an all-in-one fully integrated on-board electronic system that can perform in-situ SHM of aircraft’s structures based on guided wave ultrasonic method. The consumption of this equipment is of a few Watts, which is a critical specification that must be resolved if this system is to be boarded in the aircraft. The goal of the research presented in this paper is design a communication system that can interconnect a huge number of SHM devices installed on-board an aircraft with a low consumption. The distribution of these devices has been organized in sub-networks in order to reduce the instantaneous consumption. Multipoint communications and a new protocol have been adopted. A prototype to test this network system has been designed, developed and subjected to laboratory tests.

Full Text: