CVM™ Applications & Solutions

Commercial and military aircraft operations have a significant amount of MRO expenditure allocated to maintaining the integrity of airframe. Current NDI technologies whilst effective in treating small local areas are slow, labour intensive and time consuming. Internal structure is difficult and costly to access and often left until a major overhaul such as a D Check.

During the operational life of a commercial aircraft, it will be subject to many scheduled and urgent maintenance inspections for possible fatigue cracking. The customary inspection tools and processes cannot effectively improve the turn around time to return the aircraft to operational service.

SMS has recognised that building a Structural Health Monitoring System into an airframe at manufacture is possible and ultimately the only way to comprehensively achieve a number of benefits:

  • Weight reduction in new airframe designs to improve payload and fuel ratios by removing redundant engineering.
  • Real time structural health monitoring of airframe integrity to predict and schedule maintenance on a more cost effect basis.
  • As a retrofit to existing aircraft to minimise repetitious inspections and reduce costly invasive processes at scheduled intervals and for Airworthiness Directives.
  • To permit airframe inspections to be carried out in field situations with confidence for rapid turn around to mission readiness.
  • To reduce repetitious labour and make better use of MRO resources.
  • To provide a reliable and repeatable means of assessing airframe integrity and building a database of airframe performance for MRO analysis.

SMS has advanced projects with on aircraft applications for the US and Australian military and is engaged in joint OEM developments for commercial airliners. It is expected that CVM will be the technology of choice in the majority of airframe SHMS applications.