About the Project

The aviation industry has recognized the need for more sophisticated IVHM systems and more innovative ways to deploy them in situations where complex structural geometries create accessibility limitations that may impede efforts to locate and identify deeply hidden flaws. The intended outcome of SENTIENT is a state of the art wireless monitoring system capable of automatically measuring and detecting flaws in various geometric structures in the aircraft wing. The developments will cater for new and conventional materials and will address the continued improvement in inspection capability as well as target the reduction of false reports from hard landings, a major concern for the aviation industry.

Airbus A380 1
Airbus A380 2

The key technical challenge of the SENTIENT project lies in achieving the convergence of two goals

(1) energy harvesting yielding more power
(2) sensor applications and network communications requiring less power while maintaining satisfactory levels of inspection.

The high calibre of engineering expertise and experience of the project partners in aircraft manufacturing, aerospace electronics, composite materials, secure wireless communications, structural health monitoring (SHM) and Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) will enable the collaboration to address the opportunity within project to cater for the different technical requirements, these include:

  1. Sensor Networks & Communications – Sensor configuration & positioning, data compression algorithms, network design and management to provide resiliency/mitigation against interference in dense multipath environments,
  2. Sensor Data Acquisition & Apps - Acoustic emission techniques for localisation of damage, Multi-site damage localisation, Interface design for Impact detection algorithms for different structures and materials,
  3. Power Management Power trade-off between, sensing, comms and apps - Smart energy-aware activation circuits for interfacing wireless sensing systems to reduce power consumption,
  4. Energy Harvesting -  Novel power harvesting ideas which could result in patents,
  5. Visualisation & Profiling – User visualisation of the state of health of a structural enclosure, the conditions to which it has been exposed and in what operational context (landing, taking off, climbing, cruising etc.). Creation of use case profiles/rule base for extracting WSN data.
About the Project