Modern Automation Technologies Professional Magazine


НаименованиеRotorcraft Flight Structure's Strength Tests Automation


This article describes opportunities for using current computer technologies for automating strength testing of aircraft components.

Such testing most frequently involves load testing and fatigue testing. The tests produce a great deal of data that requires a significant amount of time to process. To improve the accuracy and efficiency of these tests, automated systems are now used to collect, process and present the results. These systems also allow for controlling the tests in real time. One promising trend in automating strength testing is the use of PC-compatible industrial microcontrollers. We believe that the MicroPC family of products from Octagon Systems best meets the requirements for working under such lab conditions as excess vibration and electrical interference.

The tests covered in this article involve certain components of the ANSAT helicopter (see photo 1) developed by the Kazan Helicopter Factory with the Omega Test Center and the industry testing lab known by the acronym ONIL. The lab has developed several testing units, such as one for the cyclic pitch control on a helicopter (see photo 2).

Hydraulic systems are used to perform the strength tests, so the equipment to control the applied pressure is standardized and is considered a pressure control subsystem. The subsystem is built using equipment from the MicroPC family and can be installed in direct proximity to the test stand. The main function of the subsystem is to control the hydraulic systems in real time.

The heart of the subsystem is a MicroPC controller that includes an Octagon System 5025A processor, one eight-channel and one four-channel 5750 digital-analog converter, a 4x40 LCD display and keyboard (with adapters), and a 5101 power supply. Pressure is monitored on the LCD display, and the pressure can be controlled in real time and then stored in memory for retesting purposes.

The subsystem for collecting, measuring and presenting the measurements information includes a set of electric strain-gauge resistors connected to a strain-gauge measurements information system known as SIIT-3. This system, in turn, includes a signal relay unit that connects the resistors to a measurements unit, transmitting control signals to the resistors and feeding back data to the measurements unit. The SIIT-3 system links to the PC through a 5600 digital I/O card from Octagon Systems' MicroPC line.

The advantages of using this type of testing system include the full automation of the measurements and reporting process, flexibility in choosing test regimes, high reliability in extreme conditions and high precision in the results, as well as continuous monitoring, the high volume of collected data and the ability to archive test results.

ANSAT test helicopter.

Unit for testing cyclic pitch control on a helicopter.

By Vladimir Naumov, Andrey Naumov, Vladimir Barbashov, Valeriy Pakhov,
Stanislav Bastrakov, Sergey Mikhailov and Sergey Ichankin

Vladimir Naumov,  Andrey Naumov,  Vladimir Barbashov,  Valery Pakhov,  Stanislav Bastrakov,  Sergey Mikhailov,  Sergey Ichankin