Preventing catastrophic failures by detecting and monitoring flaws and damage is a primary concern in the design, manufacturing, and testing of composite structures being developed for advanced air, ground, and marine vehicles.
During scheduled maintenance, non-destructive evaluation methods based on physical principles such as x-rays, ultrasound, and laser optics can be employed to evaluate structural reliability without harming the future usefulness of the structures. It is even more beneficial if the composite structure can diagnose its own structural health and residual life. Embedded sensors and real-time monitoring can be used to create self-diagnostic composite structures.
Gary Cloud, University Distinguished Professor