Aero-Structure Deformation Measurement Under Load

Solutions for Measuring Deformation in Aircraft Fuselage Sections During Load Resistance Tests

Aerospace manufacturers need to ensure an aircraft’s structure can withstand hard landings and heavy loads, which entails setting up tests that push the fuselage to breaking point.

Part of the extensive testing process involves creating a prototype of the aircraft fuselage and using a high-force actuator test rig to subject it to a simulation of the loads and hard landings it will have to withstand. Operators then inspect the fuselage for any resulting deformations and use this data to assess the suitability of the design for service.

Accurately measuring deformation on a large cylindrical object poses challenges that have traditionally been addressed by using strain gauges, which measure mechanical quantities as changes in electrical resistance. One of the disadvantages of strain gauges, however, is they require a large support structure that can take several days to set up. In contrast, photogrammetry tools help aircraft manufacturers increase productivity by reducing setup and measurement time to a few hours by simultaneously monitoring dozens of measurement targets placed on the fuselage skin. In addition, they can capture deformation in 3D with a higher point density than a strain gauge can.

Hexagon’s photogrammetry tools are designed to offer precise multi-point 3D measurement on large and curved surfaces. They are ideal for measuring deformation in large cylindrical structures in challenging industrial environments, including when aero structures are being pushed to their physical limits in deformation testing.

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