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A4A/SAE Nondestructive Testing Innovation Award Honors Team for First Regulatory Approved Application of Structural Health Monitoring

WASHINGTON, September 20, 2023 Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, and SAE International jointly presented the 19th Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Innovation Award at the Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Forum. The award was presented to a team comprised of representatives from Structural Monitoring Systems, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp, Delta Air Lines, DR Engineering, Aero X Aviation Services and Delta Engineering for furthering the science and efficacy of nondestructive testing.

The team developed the first FAA-approved application of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) for their Comparative Vacuum Monitor (CVM) sensor technology for detecting cracks via inspections on the Gogo (Intelsat) 2Ku wi-fi antenna support structure on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Achieving this milestone in SHM and NDT inspection methods will help carriers significantly increase operational efficiency while reducing operating costs. Performing an inspection with CVM sensors takes an average of 12 minutes at the gate as opposed to repositioning aircraft to a hanger to perform a traditional eddy current inspection. The sensors have been installed on more than 20 aircraft operated by Delta Air Lines.

Members of the 2023 NDT Innovation Award team include the following:

  • Rich Poutier; Executive Vice President Business Development, Sales and Marketing; Structural Monitoring Systems, Plc.
  • Trevor Lynch-Staunton, CTO, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
  • Brian Shaigec, Design Engineer, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
  • Derrick Formosa, Engineer, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
  • Tyler Taylor, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp
  • David Piotrowski, Senior Principal Engineer, Delta Air Lines
  • Dennis Roach; DR Engineering, LLC                 
  • Ron Grigsby, Aero X Aviation Services
  • Alex Matyashuk, Aero X Aviation Services
  • Yuriy Matyashuk, Aero X Aviation Services
  • Billy Pruitt, Aero X Aviation Services
  • Ben Stanford; ODA Administrator, Director of Structures; Delta Engineering
  • Matthew Van Name, FAA ODA UM DAR, Delta Engineering

“A4A congratulates this year’s award recipients for the innovation in developing the first FAA-approved SHM inspection method that offers accurate, reliable in-situ monitoring of the structural integrity of the aircraft while also offering a time-saving and affordable alternative to traditional eddy current techniques,” said Robert Ireland, A4A Vice President for Safety, Maintenance and Engineering. “Working collaboratively, this team reflects commitment to innovation and in creating the first regulatory-approved SHM application has achieved significant process improvements by applying this SHM technology.”

A4A’s NDT Forum is marking its 64th year at a four-day conference held in Denver, where industry leaders are meeting to discuss current trends, issues and successes in NDT methodologies. The event features a number of presentations on achievements and lessons learned about technologies that help ensure the longevity and safety of aircraft structures by detecting defects well before they can be seen or cause a failure.

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