Ultrasonic guided wave-based structural health monitoring of composites under uncertainty

The extensive use of smart systems on board the structural components in safety-critical engineering applications is shifting the emphasis from an interventionist, offline monitoring and passive control strategy towards a more robust, real-time self-sensing and self-controlling operation framework.

This project is advertised as part of the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. It is currently not available to self-funded applicants. Find out more information about the DTP including how to apply.

The project proposes to use ultrasonic guided wave (GW) based advanced probabilistic structural health monitoring (SHM) system for the assessment of structural health of composite sandwich structures (CSS). Smart sensing devices (such as piezoelectric sensors) are employed for the GW generation/reception, where the recorded signals will be treated (to compensate for ambient/measurement noise and improve signal resolution) and analyzed to infer the presence of incipient structural deterioration. Also, all real life structures perform under high levels of uncertainty in their parameter descriptions, measurement noise, loads or even inherent process randomness. A probabilistic characterization of the sustained damages is essential in such cases. This is done with Bayesian inference where model-based damage predictions would be assimilated with experimental data to construct an active data-driven damage predictor. This data-driven probabilistic predictive capacity of damages in operational structures using active methods would significantly expand the scientific understanding of prognostics in structures and would be a transformative technology for industrial SHM.

The proposed research would focus on composite plate structures which are of particular interest in aerospace applications. The project will investigate case-studies supplied by Airbus to demonstrate and validate the active SHM toolboxes developed during the project. There is a possibility for the candidate to visit and collaborate with Airbus’ experts at Filton. The developed techniques and computational models will be directly applied to real life aero-structures (such as wings, fuselage, tailplanes, stabilizers) to improve early stage damage detection capabilities. Cardiff University Structural Performance Laboratory (CUSP) is one of the leaders in SHM research in the UK with very strong ties to industries (such as, Airbus, BAE systems). CUSP would provide expert support and state-of-the-art laser vibrometry research infrastructure to this project which will ensure a high impact research outcome in this rapidly emerging field.


David Kennedy

Professor David Kennedy


+44 (0)29 2087 5340

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