Scientists within the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) Aerospace Division have developed a new fatigue-monitoring algorithm that shows the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B Hornets are less fatigued than previously thought.
The new algorithm, known as MSMP3, has been brought into use after validation testing demonstrated that the old algorithm over-predicted damage due to small load cycles, resulting in unnecessary conservatism, DSTG statedon March 24.
“As a direct result of the upgrade of the Hornet monitoring program, the reprocessing of the entire fleet’s usage history indicates that fatigue is no longer the main driver to the planned withdrawal date,” said research leader Loris Molent.
“After thorough peer review, DGTA-ADF (Directorate General Technical Airworthiness – Australian Defence Force) advised the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office to adopt MSMP3. The historical all-time strain records of each aircraft were reprocessed and the results adopted in September 2015,” DSTG said.