Full Scale Testing

Fatigue test of CF-18 aircraft at NRC Aerospace (National Research Council of Canada).

The National Research Council of Canada Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC Aerospace), Canada's national aerospace laboratory, conducts research and development in the full range of issues related to the design, manufacture, performance, use, and safety of air and space vehicles.

NRC and Australia's Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory (AMPL) were selected by the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) to receive the prestigious ICAS-von Karman Award in 2002 for their collaboration in a highly successful international research and testing program to manage the structural life of the CF-18 Hornet aircraft. The project, initiated in 1989 and known as the International Follow-On Structural Test Program (IFOSTP), is a Canada-Australia joint project that has become one of the longest-running international programs, producing multi-billion dollar savings in aircraft fleet management and life extension, as well as demonstrating new fatigue testing techniques and new methods for fatigue load reduction.

Current Situation
A major project currently underway at NRC-IAR involves the long term fatigue test of the CF-18 aircraft for the purpose of extending its effective flying life. In support of these tests NRC-IAR’s Experimental Stress Analysis (ESA) facility was asked to make strain measurements in a critical area of the aircraft wing. 

NRC-IAR currently uses digital image correlation technology produced by Corre-lated Solutions Inc. to perform optical strain measurements.  Due to the small region being analyzed in this test the supplied, large form factor cameras could not be used. The ESA facility required a camera solution with FireWire compatibil-ity, high resolution and a very small form factor. 

Those requirements were met with the AVT Marlin F-145B coupled with a high powered LED array to provide consistent lighting and long life.  The AVT Marlin cameras ran 24/7 during the fatigue test, documenting the strain field changes around crack nucleation areas and during the subsequent crack growth of this wing component.

The Requirements
The ESA facility needed an economical camera solution with firewire compatibility, high resolution and a very small form factor. The camera system would be running 24/7 for days on end, so reliabil-ity was also an issue.

AVT was able to supply NRC-IAR with cost effective camera solutions that met the form factor requirements and were ex-tremely easy to integrate into their cur-rent systems.

AVT cameras are gradually being implemented in other experimental stress analysis applications. An AVT Dolphin camera is on order for use in an optical strain system based on automated photo-elasticity. 

Eventually two high speed AVT Pike cameras will be acquired for further work in the field of digital image correlation.

The voice of the customer: “We will definitely decide for AVT cameras again”
NRC´s  Research Officers, Mr. David Backman and Robert Rutledge were very satisfied with the overall service of Allied Vision Technologies:  “We will definitely decide for AVT cameras again,” he said.