Northrop Grumman predictive-maintenance models to head-off Air Force airframe cracks

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 26 Dec. 2013. U.S. Air Force maintenance experts need better ways to predict cracking on aircraft and other airframe structural problems through modeling and simulation. They found their solution from the Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems segment in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are awarding $20 million contract to Northrop Grumman for the Airframe Digital Twin (ADT) Spiral 1 program for airframe predictive maintenance.

The ADT Spiral 1 program seeks to enhance the Air Force's ability to predict airframe problems on different kinds of Air Force aircraft, and conduct preventive maintenance to head-off airframe cracking and other structural problems before they happen.

The program pertains to the aircraft fuselage, wing, empennage, landing gear, control systems and surfaces, engine section, nacelle, air induction, weapon mount, engine mounts, structural operating mechanisms, and other airframe components.

To improve aircraft predictive maintenance, Air Force experts are trying to improve flight loads data, develop more realistic structural analysis models than are available today, and make a concerted effort to quantify and reduce modeling uncertainty over time.

Related: New modified COTS device helps repair engines and airframes before they break

Toward these goals, Northrop Grumman experts in the ADT Spiral 1 program will develop and demonstrate a probabilistic, risk-based, flight-by-flight individual aircraft tracking (IAT) framework to replace the baseline deterministic individual aircraft tracking framework used today for legacy aircraft.

Northrop Grumman experts will attempt to fuse usage and environment data from aircraft on-board sensors; maintenance data collected from the field and depot; and collected maintenance and certification data within physics-based structural prognostic models.

The key part of the program for Northrop Grumman is to integrate three key technologies into aircraft tracking: probabilistic structural reliability analysis (PSRA); on-board and in-situ damage detection; and advanced flight loads simulations.

Related: Companies to harvest heat from jet engines to generate power for in-engine predictive maintenance system

The overall goal for Northrop Grumman is to develop and demonstrate a prognostic and probabilistic individual aircraft tracking (P2IAT) methodology that improves the ability to predict fatigue cracking in metal airframes.

The P2IAT approach will integrate advanced flight loads simulation, airframe structural stress analysis, fatigue life analysis, probabilistic structural reliability analysis, and uncertainty quantification methods.

The methodology will improve the fidelity of loads derived from aircraft flight histories to help Air Force maintenance personnel predict airframe problems. The approach will be modular to apply it to different types of aircraft, as well as to integrate new analysis models as they are developed.

Related: Jetliner engine maintenance moves to electronic monitoring

As part of the program, Northrop Grumman experts will demonstrate the effectiveness of the P2IAT approach by tracking fatigue damage in two full-scale structural experiments that simulate flight-by-flight loading.

On this contract Northrop Grumman experts will do the work in Redondo Beach, Calif., and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and should be finished by early 2020.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems online at www.northropgrumman.com.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video on the role of innovation. Then, simply answer 4 multiple-choice questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR THREE MOST RECENT WINNERS. Eric from L3, Alan from ATK, and Terry from the University of California


Featured Slideshow

Evolution of the American soldier

The American soldier has come a long way since the beginning of the Republic 237 years ago. While uniforms for early soldiers were based on cost and utility, soldiers' clothing eventually considered ballistic protection, increasing storage space, protection from poison gas and other contaminants.

Related Products

F-SIM-LDR ARINC 615A Data Loader

AIT's F-SIM-LDR, or Flight Simulyzer Loader, is a complete ARINC-615A Data Loader development kit...

cPCI-1760-SW-4

AceXtreme® Bridge Device - Smart Protocol Converter

DDC’s AceXtreme Bridge Device converts avionics messages in real time between Ethernet, MIL-STD-1...

Related Companies

CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA

Has been designing and manufacturing complex high-performance avionics, defense and communication boards, subsystems ...

Boker's Inc

Boker's, Inc. can manufacture your flat washers, spacers and shims with an outside diameter from 0.080" to 12" and ma...

DLS Electronic Systems Inc

Provides EMC/EMI & Environmental testing to MIL-STD 461-A-F, MIL-STD 810 & RTCA DO-160-C-G, Boeing, Airbus FAA AC20-1...
Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

On Demand Webcasts

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

April 2014
Volume 25, Issue 4
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE