Impacts of a certain force and/or to a certain area may adversely affect the integrity and reliability of a structure. Such impacts can occur at any time during a structure's lifecycle, from manufacturing and transport/delivery to operation and maintenance. Impacts may result in structural damage, injuries, and even fatalities. Their effects may be immediate or have a delayed onset.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for operators to be aware of the occurrence of impact events, especially on aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, fuel bottles, pressure tanks, thermal protection shields, unmanned vehicles, pipelines, and ships entering a harbor.
Acellent has developed Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems specifically designed to monitor for and report information about impact events. Our impact monitoring system consists of our SMART Layer® sensor network, our IMGenie Pro hardware, and our AIM software. This system senses impact events, logs the date and time of the occurrence, estimates the location, and calculates the energy and force of the impact—all in real time.
Impact events that fall below a user-definable safety threshold can be ignored (although they are still logged for traceability), whereas impact events that exceed safety limits can be configured to generate an alarm, signaling the need for evaluation and repair of the structure. (Of course, we also provide damage-detection systems that provide automated assessment of the structure's condition, identifying any damage and determining its severity.)