Comparative Vacuum Monitoring (CVM) technology is recognized by U.S. airline industry organization, Airlines for America (A4A), for being the first regulatory-approved application of structural health monitoring by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A collaborative team made up of members of Structural Monitoring Systems, Plc., its wholly owned subsidiary Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp., Delta Air Lines, Delta Engineering, DR Engineering, LLC., and Aero X Aviation Services, took home the coveted A4A/SAE NDT Innovation Award for 2023 at the Airlines for America Nondestructive Testing Forum (A4A NDT Forum) in Denver, Colorado.
CVM is the first FAA certified, non-destructive, failsafe at-the-gate structural health monitoring solution for achieving condition-based maintenance. The technology is expected to reduce the time and labor maintenance crews spend monitoring and inspecting airframes for cracks, and as a result restores significant commercial flying time capacity back to the airline network.
CVM is designed to be used as an alternative to eddy current to perform traditional HFEC/LFEC airframe fatigue inspection and is already installed on 26 of Delta Air Lines’ 71 B737 aircraft. Aft pressure bulkhead (APB) inspections are required every 1,200 cycles, and Delta Air Lines estimates the new CVM inspections will add 960 hours of flying time across their fleet each year.
Trevor Lynch-Staunton, AEM’s Chief Technical Officer, and lead Structural Health Monitoring Engineer, who attended the event along with other members of the team to accept the award, says “being recognized by A4A for the first FAA-approved application of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is huge.”
“This initial application approval of our CVM sensor technology on the Intelsat (Gogo) Wi-Fi antenna support structure on Boeing’s 737-800 aircraft paved the way for our most current applications, as well as future applications and approvals,” he says.
CVM is currently approved by the FAA for use on the center wing box, front spar shear fitting, and the Intelsat (Gogo) Wi-Fi antenna inspections for select B737 aircraft, and on track for FAA approval of its Service Bulletin for the B737 Aft Pressure Bulkhead (ABP) application.
“CVM-enabled inspections will allow commercial airline operators to streamline their maintenance program by replacing costly and inefficient inspections at heavy and out-of-sequence checks,” Lynch-Staunton added.
Performing an inspection with CVM can be conducted at the gate or on the overnight, with an average turnaround of 12 minutes, as opposed to repositioning aircraft to a hangar for days.
Members of the 2023 NDT Innovation Award team include the following:
- Rich Poutier; Executive Vice President Business Development, Sales and Marketing; Structural Monitoring Systems, Plc.
- Trevor Lynch-Staunton, CTO, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
- Brian Shaigec, Design Engineer, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
- Derrick Formosa, Engineer, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
- Tyler Taylor, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
- David Piotrowski, Senior Principal Engineer, Delta Air Lines
- Dennis Roach; DR Engineering, LLC
- Ron Grigsby, Aero X Aviation Services
- Alex Matyashuk, Aero X Aviation Services
- Yuriy Matyashuk, Aero X Aviation Services
- Billy Pruitt, Aero X Aviation Services
- Ben Stanford; ODA Administrator, Director of Structures; Delta Engineering
- Matthew Van Name, FAA ODA UM DAR, Delta Engineering