Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

Validation of a structural model of an aircraft cockpit panel: an industrial case study.

Patterson, E. A., Diamantakos, I., Dvurecenska, K., Greene, R. J., Hack, E., Lampeas, G., Lomnitz M. & Siebert, T. 

Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design. (2021).


Computational models of structures are widely used to inform decisions about design, maintenance and operational life of engineering infrastructure, including airplanes. Confidence in the predictions from models is provided via validation processes that assess the extent to which predictions represent the real world, where the real world is often characterised by measurements made in experiments of varying sophistication dependent on the importance of the decision that the predictions will inform. There has been steady progress in developing validation processes that compare fields of predictions and measurements in a quantitative manner using the uncertainty in measurements as a basis for assessing the importance of differences between the fields of data. In this case study, three recent advances in a validation process, which was evaluated in an inter-laboratory study 5 years ago, are implemented using a ground-test on a fuselage at the aircraft manufacturer's site for the first time. The results show that the advances successfully address the issues raised by the inter-laboratory study, that the enhanced validation process can be implemented in an industrial environment on a complex structure, and that the model was an excellent representation of the measurements made using digital image correlation.