The aim of our developed SHM systems is to potentially move away from planned maintenance (PM) and towards condition based maintenance (CBM) without comprising the safety of the smart structures. This change comes with a higher complexity of the maintenance program and cost implications (cost benefits vs. additional costs).

Our team has been working on developing an open source software to allow full cycle cost analysis for innovative composite manufacturing for fuselage barrels. The software includes technical cost models that accurately reflect the real production environment to correctly evaluate the business case behind new product development. In addition, the cost drivers include multi-factor sensitivity analysis to understand the trade-off between different process parameters.

Inputs to the cost analysis include the required cost for the fabrication and maintenance of advanced SHM composite airplane parts. The total cost model will consist of the manufacturing cost plus the operating cost which in both cases will include the cost of the SHM system installation and operation.