Structural monitoring, inspection and analysis

Structural monitoring to optimise the projectable maintenance

Through-life monitoring and continuous observation of the loads and strains on aircraft ensure a higher level of safety, reliability and enhance availability. Comparing real-life strains with verification qualification results provides valuable input on the determination of an aircraft‘s service life consumption. We have many years of experience in structural monitoring to optimise conditionoriented maintenance.

Structural health monitoring (SHM)

Efficient and permanent monitoring of structural integrity:

  • Strain data acquisition using sensor technology
  • Flight parameter acquisition via the Onboard-Life-Monitoring-System (OLMOS)
  • Correlation of measured structural loads with flight parameters
  • Software-driven determination of service life consumption using in-service and test load spectra

Fatigue management

Database-driven control of service life-relevant material sustainment measures (LEDA)

  • Weakness identification and analysis
  • Leveraging of know-how gained from comprehensive measurement programmes to individual aircraft (operational load measurement)
  • Use of modern technologies for the in-flight acquisition of flight and structural load parameters (flight load measurement)
  • Comparison of operation and qualification strains

Creation and realisation of concepts for the inspection as well as repairs / modifications

  • Analytical condition inspection and usage-dependent measures
  • Special inspections
  • Teardown inspections

NDT Services

Ensuring the structural integrity of an aircraft requires specific structural analyses and adapted structural inspections (visual, NDT). IABG provides expert advice concerning suitable measures for sustaining structural integrity and provide qualified technical personnel to perform structural inspections.

Structural Inspection
Whether in our testing laboratories or on-site, we carry out inspections in a flexible manner, using the state-of-the-art technology to exceed our customers’ expectations. Our highly experienced specialists are qualified up to Level III under EN ISO 9712 or EN 4179 (NAS410) in Eddy Current Testing (ET), Ultrasonic testing (UT), Dye Penetrant Testing (PT), Magnetic Particle Testing (MT), Visual Testing (VT) and XRay.

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

  • Advising on the application of SHM sensors
  • Collaboration on research programmes
  • Preparation of feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses
  • Validation, verification and qualification of SHM sensor technologies

Failure Analysis
IABG materials testing laboratory is an independent facility accredited for material and failure analyses. Our methods and reports comply with the VDI 3822 standard.

  • Material analysis
  • Root cause investigation
  • Failure prevention measures

Technical and Scientific Consultancy

  • Selection of inspection techniques and preparation of associated specifications
  • Development and validation of NDT procedures
  • Performance of non-destructive inspections
  • Optimisation of structural inspections using NDT techniques
  • Consultancy and quality assurance for the development and manufacturing of structures

Inspection and Damage Documentation

  • Compilation of inspection manuals (Non-destructive Testing Manual)
  • Design and manufacture of calibration standards within the framework of the inspection manual
  • Documentation of inspection results according to customer requirements, or IABG performance

Damage documentation and damage management are captured in the software DamDoc, an IABG serverbased database. The experience of numerous structural fatigue tests on aircrafts is integrated in the database and enables via various interfaces the safe and fast communication and coordination with our customers.


Structural analysis

Structural components can be analysed in our own materials testing laboratory (accredited in compliance with DIN EN ISO 17025). We conduct the tests in combination with structural strength calculations and damage analyses.

Material investigations

  • Determination of material properties
  • Material qualification
  • Further development of test methods and repair procedures
  • Characterisation of composite materials

Strength tests, calculations, method development

  • Identification of static, cyclic and fracture-mechanical properties in sample tests, including effects of thermal constraints
  • Establishment and parameterisation of material models
  • Evaluation of operational loads
  • Calculation of local strains and damage distribution
  • Optimisation of components with respect to fatigue strength
  • Development and optimisation of calculation and verification methods
  • Fatigue strength verification

Optical 3D Measurements

Photogrammetry & Image Correlation Services


  • Behaviour analyses for structures subjected to loads ranging from static to highly dynamic
  • Point-based and full-field measurements in 3D of
    • Elongations
    • Displacements
  • Component positioning and surveys of test benches
  • Component sizes scalable from a few millimetres to several hundred metres

GOM ARAMIS • Image Correlation

  • Stereo-optical measurements by means of digital image correlation (DIC)
  • Static and dynamic point-based and full-field measurements to determine
    • 3D coordinates
    • 3D displacements, velocities and accelerations
    • Surface strain
    • Evaluations of six degrees of freedom (6DoF)
    • Deformation characteristics

GOM ARAMIS • High-Speed Measurements

  • For highly dynamic processes, IABG has HS cameras that can generate tens of thousands of images per second.
  • Applications include:
    • Drop tests
    • Ballistic tests
    • Blast tests
    • Crash tests

GOM TRITOP • Photogrammetry

  • The portable optical measurement system GOM TRITOP accurately determines the 3D coordinates of object points under static conditions. The measurement results are compared with CAD data and can be captured in softwaregenerated reports using the following formats:
    • False colour rendering
    • Deviation of individual points as labels
    • Sections, angles and dimensions
  • Reports can be adapted to customer or task-specific requirements.
  • During stepwise loading of the specimen multiple static states can be acquired and compared. Based on this 3D- displacements and deformations can be calculated.
  • A team of experts is available for further analyses, e. g. FE modelling, on request.


•  Airbus Group • Bombardier Aerospace • Lebus International Engineers • OHB System • Pilatus Aircraft Ltd • Thales Alenia Space


  • Measurements that would normally require a large number of conventional position sensors and / or extensometers involve significantly less effort.
  • 3D information is obtained for each measuring point.
  • Measurement data is immediately visualised and correlated with CAD and FE models.
  • IABG operates in close collaboration with GOM (Gesellschaft für optische Messtechnik) and can therefore deliver innovative, customer-specific solutions for any new measurement task.
  • IABG has over 60 years of experience in the mechanical testing of parts, components and large assemblies. Customers benefit from the comprehensive expertise of an interdisciplinary team of experts.
  • IABG offers a unique combination of optical and electrical measurement technology, test setup and execution with the respective infrastructure as well as advanced technical services, all from a single source.


Certification advice


Our experienced employees provide the following support in connection with the certification of new aircraft:

  • Consulting, certification-related technical evaluation and analysis of airframe, propulsion system, aircraft performance, avionics, software safety and IT security
  • Consulting and assistance with project planning, test management, certification methodology and procedures
  • Technical and scientific advice on structural issues in connection with the development and operation of aircraft
  • Evaluation of structural issues in connection with the certification and qualification of aircraft
  • EASA-qualified entity (EASA.2012.DE.QEIABG.01)
  • Kopter Group AG Industrial Maturity Management Audit, 2020
  • Airbus S.A.S., 2010, 2011, 2017
  • Airbus Helicopters, 2015
  • Eurocopter, 2012
  • Bombardier Aerospace, 2012
  • EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH, 2011
  • ASCO Industries N.V., 2011
  • AREVA NP GmbH, 2007
  • Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG, 2007
  • MTU Aero Engines, 2004
  • Patria Finavicomp Oy (Finnland), 2004
  • Airbus Deutschland GmbH, 2002
  • Verizon, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (USA) 2002