Computational Setup of Structural Health Monitoring for Real-Time Thermal Verification
Research at the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate is being conducted to reduce schedule times for assembly, integration, and test, to make satellite-based capabilities more responsive to user needs. Structural Health Monitoring has been pursued as a means for validating workmanship and has been proven on PnPSat-1. Embedded ultrasonic piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) have been utilized with local and global inspection techniques, developed both in house and by collaborating universities, to detect structural changes that may occur during assembly, integration, and test. Specific attention has focused on interface qualification. It is now reasonable to believe that evaluation of interfaces through the use of such sensors can also be used to indirectly qualify the structure thermally and that tedious thermal-vacuum testing may be truncated or eliminated altogether. This paper focuses on the computational development of extracting thermal properties from ultrasonic transmission records. Methods are validated on simple bolted lap-joint cantilever beams.