Sensors Signal When Damage Is Detected

Sensors that can find fatigue damage, hidden cracks in hard-to-reach locations, disbonded joints, erosion, impact damage, corrosion and other defects commonly encountered in aging aircraft are now being developed and studied by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico).

Like nerve endings in a human body, in situ sensors offer levels of vigilance and sensitivity to problems that periodic checkups can’t, says Dennis Roach, who leads a Sandia team that is evaluating some of the first sensor systems for aircraft.

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