Electrical capacitive tomography (ECT) has been used to monitor sections of aircraft wiring, as a tool for prognostic analysis. To apply the principles of ECT across a cross section of only 4 mm, modification of the basic circuit was required. Additionally, a more novel method of placing the necessary electrodes was needed, this being accomplished by etching them from flexible copper sheeting and wrapping them inside the perimeter of an enclosure. Results showed that at this small scale, it was possible to determine the position of a wire-under-test inside the 4 mm diameter enclosure to about 0.1 mm, and that by measuring capacitance between pairs, it was also possible to determine whether or not the insulation of wire passed between the electrodes was damaged. With more than one wire-under-test present, it was possible to determine whether or not damage was present, and if so, which wire was damaged. By detecting insulation damage in this way, ECT has proven to be a useful tool in prognostic monitoring, helping faults to be found before they become safety-critical onboard an aircraft.
- cable testing