SHM application to space re-usable launchers to facilitate system re-use
The objectives of this project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) is to investigate the SHM application to vertical re-usable launchers (VRL) is to facilitate system re-use. Therefore the SHM system it must be able to provide information on material degradation mechanisms as well as the integrity of the structure and its safety for re-launch. The project is led by Fluid gravity, and the project partners are ICL (SI&HM group) and MT-Aerospace.
The task of ICL is to develop and investigate SHM systems to address the re-certification requirements of vertical launchers. This requires the integration of the sensing system with space structures through different stages of the mission, in terms of reliability, sensitivity, added mass/volume and operational range.
The biggest challenge for the space application is the survivability of the hardware (sensors, wires, connectors, bonding) under the repeated harsh operational and environmental of each mission.