Impact damage assessment by sensor signal analysis

R. John*, I. Read, W. Macpherson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aircraft that employ composites are prone to impact damage that can degrade structural performance and yet leave little visible sign. Manual inspection to detect such damage can be costly and time consuming. In this paper we investigate the use of damage detection sensors to discriminate between damaging and non-damaging impacts. In use it is likely that the impact magnitude and location will be unknown. To simulate this, a range of impact energies were performed at a varying distances from a piezoelectric acoustic sensor on composite panels. The sensor output was analysed to find distance invariant features that could be used to indicate whether an impact caused damage. In damaging impacts, a secondary signal burst, with amplitude significant when compared to the initial burst, was observed. An algorithm was produced to differentiate signals based on this feature which has the potential to contribute to a structural monitoring system and thus reduce the inspection burden ultimately leading to lower aircraft maintenance costs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructural Health Monitoring 2011
Subtitle of host publicationCondition-Based Maintenance and Intelligent Structures
PublisherDEStech Publishing Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781605950532
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event8th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring 2011 - Stanford, United States
Duration: 13 Sept 201115 Sept 2011


Conference8th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact damage assessment by sensor signal analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this