Standard Article

Risk Monitoring of Aircraft Fatigue Damage Evolution at Critical Locations

Principles of SHM-based Structural Monitoring, Design and Maintenance

Loads and Environment Monitoring

  1. Michael Shiao

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm185

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Shiao, M. 2009. Risk Monitoring of Aircraft Fatigue Damage Evolution at Critical Locations. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. Airport and Aircraft Safety Group, Aviation Research & Development Office, Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Fatigue damage detection and damage evolution monitoring are critical issues for the continued operational safety of aircraft. This article describes key technical elements, including probabilistic methods for risk monitoring of aircraft fatigue damage evolution at critical locations using either on-board sensors or off-board nondestructive inspection methods. Although the technical issues regarding risk monitoring are different between on-board and off-board structural health monitoring (SHM), they share many technical elements, such as SHM system sensitivity, inspection dependency and frequency, repair quality, damage evolution characterization, uncertainty quantification, and risk forecasting and updating for prognosis. A probabilistic framework and its associated methodologies, including the key technical elements, are described and discussed. The probabilistic methodologies consist of specialized probabilistic algorithms considering maintenance-related uncertainties, as well as inspection dependency, characterization of fatigue damage evolution, and a Bayesian updating approach to update prior knowledge using damage state information obtained through inspections.


  • fatigue;
  • damage tolerance;
  • structural health monitoring;
  • probability of detection;
  • risk;
  • probability of failure;
  • maintenance;
  • inspection