Our EU project, INSTRUCTIVE came to an end with the closing of 2018. We have achieved all of our milestones and deliverables; and, now have 51 (=60-9) days to submit our final reports. We have already presented the technical contents of those reports to representatives of our sponsors in a final review meeting just before the Christmas break. I think that they were pleased with our progress; our findings certainly stimulated debate about how to move forward and implement the new technologies – lots of new questions that we did not know we should be asking when we started the project.
We are also disseminating the key results more publicly because this is an obligation inherent with receiving public funding for our research; but also, because I see no purpose in advancing knowledge without sharing it. During the course of the project we have given research updates at three conferences and the papers/abstracts for these are available via the University of Liverpool Repository [#1, #2 & #3]. And, we are in the process of producing three papers for publication in archived journals.
However, the real tangible benefit of the project is the move to next stage of development for the technology supported by a new project, called DIMES, that started on January 1st, 2019. The aim of the DIMES project is to develop and demonstrate systems with the capability to detect a crack or delamination in a metallic or composite structure, and the potential to be deployed as part of an on-board structural health monitoring system for passenger aircraft. In other words, the INSTRUCTIVE project has successfully demonstrated that a new philosophy for monitoring damage in aerospace structures, using disturbances to the strain field caused by the damage, is at least as effective as traditional non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques and in some circumstances provides much more sensitivity about the initiation and propagation of damage. This has been sufficiently successful in the laboratory and on aircraft components in an industrial environment that is worth exploring its deployment for on-board monitoring and the first step is to use it in ground-based tests.
There will be more on DIMES as the project gets underway and updates on its progress will replace the twice-yearly ones on INSTRUCTIVE.
The series of posts on the INSTRUCTIVE project can be found at https://realizeengineering.blog/category/myresearch/instructive-project/