Impact localization on a composite tail rotor blade using an inverse filtering approach

F. Ciampa, M. Meo

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This article presents an in situ structural health monitoring imaging system for the localization of impacts on a composite complex structure such as a tail rotor blade. Unlike conventional plate-like panels, this composite structure presents a strong anisotropy and inhomogeneous elastic nature due to the presence of both glass fibre and carbon fibre, a geometrically complex shape due to the curvature of the blade's airfoil section and variations in the mechanical behaviour due to local changes in the thickness. The proposed imaging technique is based on the inverse filtering or reciprocal time reversal approach applied to the waveforms originated from a point of the structure of unknown location (impact source) and a number of signals stored in a database containing the experimental Green's function of the medium. Unlike other ultrasonic impact localization methods, the present technique allows achieving the optimal focalization of the impact point in the spatial and time domain, by taking advantage of multiple linear scattering and a small number of receiver sensors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1950-1958
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number15
Early online date9 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Structural health monitoring
  • active composites
  • morphing
  • piezoelectric
  • embedded intelligence


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