Static and fatigue tests are some of the most challenging campaigns that test engineers can run on an aircraft – at least in terms of the scale and complexity of the testing process.
So it’s no wonder that so many test engineers are always on the hunt for ways to optimise this vital stage of the testing process.
So what does it take to do aircraft structural testing as quickly, accurately, and painlessly as possible?
Let’s take a look at the biggest opportunities for optimisation – and how the right technology can help you make the most of them.
Static and fatigue testing for the aerospace industry takes time, there’s no way around it.
But when your testing period spans months or years, small daily time savings can make a real difference. Added together, they could mean you get to wrap up testing ahead of schedule – or even just make sure your team gets home on time.
But how can efficient data acquisition (DAQ) technology accelerate static and fatigue testing for aircraft?
The best solutions will:
Understanding the impact of fatigue on an aircraft means integrating data collected from a huge number of sources.
And if you want a complete and useful picture of the aircraft’s durability, you’ll need every one of those data sources to be perfectly synchronised, so you can easily track how the aircraft responds to your stimuli over time.
That means perfectly synchronising data from hundreds – or even thousands – of strain gauges. Plus there’s all the data that test engineers now glean from techniques like digital or thermal image correlation. To get the most accurate picture, you’ll want this synchronisation to be accurate to within a millisecond, at the very least.
The challenge is that running these tests means using equipment from a potentially huge range of vendors, all of whom might have different standards for synchronising data. Not to mention the amount of time and stress involved in running around constantly checking that your sensors are aligned.
The best DAQ solutions can remove this stress almost entirely, making it easy to synchronise data points across a wide range of data sources. They’ll help by:
When this much time, money, and effort has gone into building a prototype and conducting testing, you can’t afford to doubt the accuracy of your data or the reliability of your DAQ solution. Not to mention that, at the end of all this testing, the safety of future passengers is on the line.
So it’s no wonder that reliability is one of the biggest things that test engineers worry about when it comes to choosing a DAQ solution.
You want something that you can plug in, switch on, and trust to run smoothly until your tests are finished. But the best DAQ solutions don’t just make your static and fatigue tests more accurate – they go above and beyond to make sure your data is collected accurately and easily, and stored securely.
The best solutions will offer: