From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2017
The problem of moisture accumulation in airplane honeycomb panels is so serious that perspective aviation constructions could become monolithic or filled in with special foam. However, the number of airplanes with plentiful honeycombs under exploitation will keep very high in the few next decades. Therefore, quantitative water detection remains an actual task in aviation. The qualitative aspect of this problem can be solved by using the remote and fast technique of infrared thermography. Hidden water can be detected for a certain period of time after landing, or some stimulation heat sources can be used to enhance water visibility in honeycomb panels. However, quantitative evaluation of moisture content is typically achieved by applying a point-by-point ultrasonic technique which allows measuring the height of the water bar in single cells thus compiling maps of water distribution. This technique is contact and can be enough informative when applied to the water which is in contact with the panel skin because of gravitation. The use of solely infrared thermography for evaluating accumulated water mass based on the analysis of temperature patterns is difficult. Recently we found that there is a certain promise in the thermographic determination of water content, but the question is how precise (or how approximate) can be such estimates. The paper contains modeling and experimental results obtained in this direction.
A. O. Chulkov, V. P. Vavilov, A. I. Moskovchenko, and Y.-Y. Pan, "Quantitative evaluation of water content in composite honeycomb structures by using one-sided IR thermography: is there any promise?," Proc. SPIE 10214, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXIX, 102140U (Presented at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging: April 12, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262435.
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