5.1 A New Flexible Photogrammetry Instrumentation for Estimating Wing Deformation in Airbus

ettc2020 - European Test and Telemetry Conference
2020-06-23 - 2020-06-25
Virtual Conference
5. Imaging Video
Q. Demoulin, F. Lefebvre-Albaret - Airbus, Toulouse (France), A. Basarab, D. Kouamé - University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France), J. Y. Tourneret - University of Toulouse, Toulouse (France)
148 - 156


As part of aircraft certification and optimization, wing bending and twist measurements are performed under various load cases (aircraft weight, speed, angle of attack, etc.) to validate and improve wing deformation models. Since these measurements are acquired during flight, their analysis requires to face strong environmental constraints. Indeed, the highly varying luminosity conditions, the presence of possible reflections or shadows, the vibrations and the deformations of the entire aircraft, are strong constraints that need to be considered carefully.

Current approaches applied in Airbus are based on inertial measurement units installed inside the wing, or on photogrammetry-based solutions using calibrated sensors and retro-reflective targets located on the wings. These methods are not only highly intrusive, but also require time-consuming installation, calibration phases and dedicated flights to produce only sparse measurements. Moreover, the use of reflective targets on the wing has an impact on the wing aerodynamic, which should be avoided.

In this paper, we investigate a new method for estimating wing deformations. This method adapts a photogrammetry approach classically used for reconstructing buildings or art structures to the aircraft environment. To this aim, we propose to use synchronous videos from high resolution cameras, which can be easily installed on the aircraft windows and on the vertical stabilizer. Appropriate features are extracted from the images acquired by these cameras, related to wing joints or reference points located on the aircraft wing. The system uses these features to autonomously recalibrate itself at each frame and provide a dense 3D reconstruction of the wing in the aircraft reference coordinate system. Some experiments conducted on real data acquired on Airbus aircrafts show that the proposed estimation method provide promising results.