Case Study: Buffet Load Accurate Measurement System

Many high-speed aircraft make use of a phenomenon called an overwing vortex, created by a small strake on the fuselage forward of the wings, to generate extra lift, improving flight efficiency and performance. However, under various conditions such as higher angles of attack, the vortices can become disrupted, producing chaotic and unpredictable sudden shifts of wind which result in “buffet” of the tail and rearward control surfaces. Such buffet puts unexpected and often considerable strain on various components, and has on occasion caused components to fail which were expected to last for far longer.

To permit the measurement and tracking of buffet strains, and thus permit accurate predictive health maintenance of such aircraft, IEM has developed the Buffet Load Accurate Measurement System. Leveraging and building upon our Smart Adaptable Wireless Sensor technology, BLAMS applies small, lightweight sensor nodes to the relevant control surfaces and hinge mechanisms, allowing data to be gathered across the entire aircraft and downloaded wirelessly after the flight is completed.