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Sensors 2014, 14(11), 20543-20561; doi:10.3390/s141120543

Toward Smart Aerospace Structures: Design of a Piezoelectric Sensor and Its Analog Interface for Flaw Detection

1
ECA Group, Aerospace Division, 5 Rue Paul Mesple, Toulouse 31100, France
2
CNRS, LAAS, 7 Avenue du Colonel Roche, Toulouse F-31400, France
3
Univ de Toulouse, INSA, LAAS, Toulouse F-31400, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in France)

Abstract

Structural health monitoring using noninvasive methods is one of the major challenges that aerospace manufacturers face in this decade. Our work in this field focuses on the development and the system integration of millimetric piezoelectric sensors/ actuators to generate and measure specific guided waves. The aim of the application is to detect mechanical flaws on complex composite and alloy structures to quantify efficiently the global structures’ reliability. The study begins by a physical and analytical analysis of a piezoelectric patch. To preserve the structure’s integrity, the transducers are directly pasted onto the surface which leads to a critical issue concerning the interfacing layer. In order to improve the reliability and mitigate the influence of the interfacing layer, the global equations of piezoelectricity are coupled with a load transfer model. Thus we can determine precisely the shear strain developed on the surface of the structure. To exploit the generated signal, a high precision analog charge amplifier coupled to a double T notch filter were designed and scaled. Finally, a novel joined time-frequency analysis based on a wavelet decomposition algorithm is used to extract relevant structures signatures. Finally, this paper provides examples of application on aircraft structure specimens and the feasibility of the system is thus demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural health monitoring (SHM); smart piezoelectric sensors; aircraft composite structures; guided waves; Lamb waves; sensor analog interface; avionics structural health monitoring (SHM); smart piezoelectric sensors; aircraft composite structures; guided waves; Lamb waves; sensor analog interface; avionics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Boukabache, H.; Escriba, C.; Fourniols, J.-Y. Toward Smart Aerospace Structures: Design of a Piezoelectric Sensor and Its Analog Interface for Flaw Detection. Sensors 2014, 14, 20543-20561.

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