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Graduate Seminar Series - Dr. Andrei Zagrai

azagrai.pngAndrei Zagrai, Ph.D.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Friday, February 9, 2024, 3:00 - 4:00 PM
In Person JH-109

Title: Structural Health Monitoring - A Path for Safe Serviceable Space Vehicles and Affordable Space Flight


ABSTRACT: The advent of commercial space flights brings the vision of accessible space exploration to the forefront, necessitating robust mechanisms for ensuring spacecraft safety, serviceability and reusability. Integral to this process is the role of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technologies, which provide ongoing assessments of a spacecraft's structural integrity across all flight stages. This presentation highlights the role of embedded ultrasonics within the spectrum of SHM strategies for space vehicles. It offers an in-depth look at the underlying principles of various embedded ultrasonic techniques and their practical deployment. Special attention is given to novel methodologies designed for the complex architecture of space structures, assessing their performance across a range of operational scenarios. Concluding with insights from SHM applications in suborbital flights, the talk also ventures into the potential of these technologies for ensuring structural integrity in orbit, paving the way for safer, more efficient and cost-effective space travel.

BIO: Dr. Zagrai is a professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech. His research interests encompass intelligent, adaptive structures, structural health monitoring of space vehicles and structural vibrations. His team has conducted first demonstrations of active structural diagnostics during stratospheric and suborbital flights. This work has resulted in a Low Earth Orbit structural health monitoring experiment on the International Space Station. Dr. Zagrai has published more than a hundred technical papers and has received a number of national and international awards including the Achenbach medal for contribution in the field of structural health monitoring.