This paper investigates the robustness of permanently mounted transducers used in airborne structural health monitoring systems, when exposed to the operational environment. Typical airliners operate in a range of conditions, hence, structural health monitoring (SHM) transducer robustness and integrity must be demonstrated for these environments. A set of extreme temperature, altitude and vibration environment test profiles are developed using the existing Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA)/DO-160 test methods. Commercially available transducers and manufactured versions bonded to carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite materials are tested. It was found that the DuraAct transducer is robust to environmental conditions tested, while the other transducer types degrade under the same conditions.
Keywords: Lamb wave; composites; non-destructive testing; temperature; vibration.