August 9, 2021

Motion Amplification® for the Aerospace and Defense Industries

Airplanes, rotorcrafts, spacecraft, and other vehicles produced by the aerospace and defense industries demand the most stringent testing and evaluation measures to ensure not only their safety but also their operating superiority. The avionics, mechanical systems, and structures can be subjected to the same matters of wear and tear and various mechanical faults associated with vibration, which can affect operator and passenger comfort, performance, and reliability.

Dynamic and Structural Testing

​​Among high-performance aerospace applications, evaluating Noise, Vibration, and Harness (NVH) on airframes, mechanical components, engines, rotors, and fully integrated structures are necessary steps to maintain flight safety and prevent excessive wear. Understanding the modal characteristics and root cause of vibration during the design, prototyping, and test and evaluation phases helps with problem-solving and extending equipment life.

In most standard contact-based vibration testing methods, it’s challenging and costly to have 100% sensor coverage. Traditional contact-based sensors also add weight which can impact the overall component’s or structure’s mass, stiffness and damping characteristics. By applying Motion Amplification®, a non-contact technique, you can measure millions of samples to detect subtle motions as small as 250 nanometers.

RDI’s patented video processing technology turns every pixel into a virtual non-contact displacement sensor. Millions of measurements are recorded in a fraction of a second with no physical connection to your applications. Motion Amplification® users have the ability to perform Full-Field Vibration acquisition with over 2.3 million sampling locations, visualizing and quantifying movements that are not visible to the human eye.

In addition, the technology allows the user to measure calibrated absolute displacement across the full field of view providing a time waveform and FFT spectrum for each measured location. Motion Amplification® videos can be quickly analyzed by applying Frequency Filtering, Motion and Phase Color Maps, and Vectors. This technology can help accelerate vibration troubleshooting or product testing on new designs and prototypes. Having the ability to visualize data enhances communications when reviewing and sharing test results with technical and non-technical personnel

The U.S. Air Force Relies on RDI

The United States Air Force has already employed RDI’s video Motion Amplification® technology to carry out and assess predictive maintenance for equipment. The 76th Maintenance Support Group’s Industrial Engineering shop at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex uses a Motion Amplification® camera and accompanying software to maintain and inspect equipment.

The Airforce unit even used RDI’s motion enhancement technology to inspect and evaluate faulty vacuum pumps and water pumps, finding that loose mounting bolts and a cracked concrete base were causing issues. Such action enabled cost-saving preventive maintenance. Technicians can further use Motion Amplification® vibration analysis during jet engine testing and to evaluate aircraft wings’ flex performance.

And since jet engines are no small machines, using a contactless vibration analysis method increases safety and permits analysis without touching or interfering with machinery’s operation.

Monitoring Helicopter Vibration

Helicopters are prone to vibration, and unusual vibration as a helicopter operates can adversely affect the structural and mechanical integrity of the airframe, instrumentation, cockpit, engines, transmissions, and rotor blades. Minimizing these vibration levels while understanding that they can never be fully eliminated is essential to ensure a helicopter’s safety and longevity.

In addition to testing and evaluation in test labs and cells, rotorcraft ground vibration testing can also be performed with Motion Amplification® to quickly visualize the entire aircraft and to help identify vibrations resulting from dynamic and structural systems.

While the aerospace and defense industries prioritize the safety, performance, and reliability of their technologies, so many other industries and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) employ RDI’s Motion Amplification® software to evaluate, solve and prevent problems and faults with their products and within their facilities, process, and equipment.

What can Motion Amplification® do for your industry? Contact us to learn more or request a demo!

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