Nishant, the unmanned aerial vehicle developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) uses a new technology called the Structural Health Monitoring for the monitoring of structural health parameters while the UAV is in flight.
This breakthrough enables the structural health of aeronautical structures to be monitored, so that online health can be monitored and online and corrective action for the flight can be taken.
This enables the aircraft to be flown without unnecessarily grounding them. Analysis algorithms have been developed to predict onset of failures which would be perfected using the data obtained through Friday’s flight. Usage of such techniques will avoid periodic grounding of the aircraft and make the maintenance schedules to be more like ‘on condition maintenance’, the condition being detected even before the failure occurs.
Such a monitoring can also be used for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and other UAVs. Such techniques are going to be extensively used in the future to cut down the operation costs of the aircraft and can also lead to reduction in airfares. This can prevent ensuing danger of the flights by pre-warning the occurrence of failure.