Defects in the electric wiring in aircraft have led to serious accidents. Experts investigating almost three decades of international aviation incidents between 1972 and 2000 found more than 400 wire related incidents. Aircraft wiring is bundled in looms or harnesses and these are often concealed by bulkheads, making them very difficult to inspect. There is, therefore, a need to develop a non-destructive testing method enabling the remote inspection of wiring looms that are inaccessible for inspection by current methods.
This project proposes to develop a novel wiring inspection technique based on the use of long range ultrasonic testing techniques in which the wires themselves act as wave guides. A sensor or sensor array will be clamped to the harness. This will be energised by a handheld pulser/receiver. Flaws in the wiring will reflect ultrasound back to the sensor assembly and will be detected by the pulser/receiver. Insulation damage will be recognised by advanced signal processing and pattern recognition techniques.
A multidisciplinary project consortium including academic and industrial partners from across Europe are collaborating and will be presenting their findings periodically at conferences and seminars and through this website.
This research project has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA – Research Executive Agency, under grant agreement 313357.