Structural monitoring, inspection and analysis

The safe and economically optimised use of aircraft is realised through continuous product support – from design, via operation to final retirement – and through targeted integrity management. Service life monitoring as well as knowledge of load and stress lead to more safety, more reliability and increase availability. The comparison of actual stresses with results from verification qualifications enables efficient control of maintenance measures, modifications and service life extension programmes. We actively contribute our long-term experience in structural monitoring to the optimisation of maintenance.

Integrity management for safe operation, efficient maintenance and optimised availability

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

Continuous structural monitoring provides knowledge on stress and strain:

Fleet management

Database-supported control of service life-relevant material maintenance measures

  • Comparison of operational and qualification stresses
  • Identification and analysis of structural weaknesses
  • Transfer of findings from operational measurements (OLM) to individual aircraft and / or the entire fleet
  • Analyses of large data volume with various AI methods

Maintenance optimisation

  • Targeted reduction of maintenance expenditure through the development and monitoring of “Structural Sampling Programs”
  • Database-supported control of general material maintenance measures, Fleet Leader inspections and corrosion protection measures
  • Consideration of failure analyses and assessments in the holistic context of maintenance
  • Advice on the implementation of modifications and product optimisation

Structural inspection

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 inspections

  • Non-destructive tests (NDT) with state-of-the-art equipment (UT, PAUT, ET, PT, MT – Levels 2 and 3 – as well as visual inspection incl. video endoscopy)
  • Destructive inspections (e.g. teardown inspections)
  • Use of dedicated inspection procedures for composite materials such as CFRP, GLARE, etc.
  • Application of optical systems to establish a geometrical data-base (ARAMIS, PONTOS) and to detect plastic deformations, buckling etc.
  • Preparation of inspection programmes and instructions

Damage documentation

  • Development and use of a location-independent damage documentation platform (DamDoc)
  • Definition and implementation of customer-specific interfaces (VNC)
  • Interaction with software-based customer platforms for structural inspection programmes

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

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