A low-cost and reliable system assesses the integrity of composite fan-containment structures. The system utilizes a network of miniature sensors integrated with the structure to scan the entire structural area for any impact events and resulting structural damage, and to monitor degradation due to usage. This system can be used to monitor all types of composite structures on aircraft and spacecraft, as well as automatically monitor in real time the location and extent of damage in the containment structures. This diagnostic information is passed to prognostic modeling that is being developed to utilize the information and provide input on the residual strength of the structure, and maintain a history of structural degradation during usage. The structural health-monitoring system would consist of three major components: (1) sensors and a sensor network, which is permanently bonded onto the structure being monitored; (2) integrated hardware; and (3) software to monitor in-situ the health condition of in-service structures.

This work was done by Xinlin P. Qing, Christopher Aquino, and Amrita Kumar of Acellent Technologies, Inc. for Glenn Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-18396-1.