Journal of Astronautics ›› 2019, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (10): 1177-1186.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2019.10.008

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Research Progress on Structural Health Monitoring Technology for Reusable Launch Vehicles

DU Fei, XU Chao, YU Ze xing   

  1. School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
  • Received:2019-06-16 Revised:2019-07-17 Online:2019-10-15 Published:2019-10-25


 This paper reviews the research work on structural health monitoring (SHM) technology for reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) both at home and abroad. In particular, key technical issues of SHM are discussed in detail including the bolt preload monitoring for thermal protection system, cryogenic tank monitoring, structural impact monitoring and in-orbit verification of SHM system. The development status, technical capabilities and tendency of the SHM for RLVs are concluded. Finally, the technical requirements in the actual deployment of SHM systems are proposed. The suggestion is provided for the practical applications of SHM system for RLVs in the future.

Key words:  Reusable launch vehicle, Structural health monitoring, Thermal protection system, Cryogenic tank, Impact damage

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