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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 754; doi:10.3390/s17040754

Electronic Noses for Composites Surface Contamination Detection in Aerospace Industry

ENEA—Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, PV and Smart Network Division, C.R. ENEA Portici, P.le E. Fermi, 1, 80055 Portici, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies in Italy 2016)


The full exploitation of Composite Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) in so-called green aircrafts design is still limited by the lack of adequate quality assurance procedures for checking the adhesive bonding assembly, especially in load-critical primary structures. In this respect, contamination of the CFRP panel surface is of significant concern since it may severely affect the bonding and the mechanical properties of the joint. During the last years, the authors have developed and tested an electronic nose as a non-destructive tool for pre-bonding surface inspection for contaminants detection, identification and quantification. Several sensors and sampling architectures have been screened in view of the high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scenarios requirements. Ad-hoc pattern recognition systems have also been devised to ensure a fast and reliable assessment of the contamination status, by combining real time classifiers and the implementation of a suitable rejection option. Results show that e-noses could be used as first line low cost Non Destructive Test (NDT) tool in aerospace CFRP assembly and maintenance scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: NDTs; composites; surface contamination detection; electronic noses; aerospace industry; pattern recognition NDTs; composites; surface contamination detection; electronic noses; aerospace industry; pattern recognition

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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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Vito, S.D.; Miglietta, M.L.; Massera, E.; Fattoruso, G.; Formisano, F.; Polichetti, T.; Salvato, M.; Alfano, B.; Esposito, E.; Francia, G.D. Electronic Noses for Composites Surface Contamination Detection in Aerospace Industry. Sensors 2017, 17, 754.

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