Sensor Film Image
Model of the sensor film for measuring the material load of air and space vehicles in flight. (Image: Alexander Hilgarth/Universität Würzburg)

A sensor film monitors how well aircraft and spacecraft withstand the mechanical stresses of flight. It can ultimately reduce maintenance costs and make the reusability of space vehicles more likely.

In addition, the sensor film can detect material defects that only occur under mechanical stress but remain hidden during inspections in the hangar such as cracks whose fracture edges rejoin perfectly when unloaded.

The film uses tomographic measuring methods that are not yet common in aerospace. It functions as a circuit carrier for a wireless sensor network. The film is space-saving and flexible and can also be attached to hard-to-reach places on aircraft and spacecraft.