2018 -  Integrated system for the automated inspection of photovoltaic parks using IR-thermography via autonomous aerial vehicles (drones)


Photovoltaic parks (PVPs) are among the most promising renewable energy technologies, and will be a key component of the future smart energy grids. A significant technological disadvantage of PVPs is the time-consuming and costly inspection and quality control processes, via manual infrared spectroscopic measurements. Moreover, the results of such measurements depend on the environmental conditions and their interpretation is prone to human errors, leading to incorrect conclusions, delayed damage identification, poor maintenance and reduced efficiency. Recently, there are some promising efforts on drone-assisted aerial IR thermography. However, these still rely on manual control by a specialized drone operator who needs to be on site. Also, there is no support for the coordinated use of multiple drones, which is needed to cover medium to large sized PVPs. Addressing these problems, the project aims to develop and evaluate, through a real-world pilot, an integrated system for the automated monitoring of PVPs using aerial infrared (IR) thermography conducted by multiple drones, resulting to (a) reduced inspection duration, (b) improved quality and accuracy of the evaluation process, and (c) direct assessment of PV failures for better energy harvesting.

Project Site




  • HIPOCRATES is a Collaborative Project co-funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community. Further information on European Community research programmes can be found on the Cordis web site.
  • The aim of HIPOCRATES project is to serve as a platform for developing the required knowledge, technologies, procedures and strategies to deliver self-repairing composite aero-structures, while defining the roadmap to achieve the vision of self-repairing composite structures.

 In order to achieve this aim, the objectives of HIPOCRATES research and development activities are set to give answers in certain directions:

  • To provide experimental evidence to meet the State-of–the-Art shortcomings and broaden the understanding of the self-healing mechanisms.
  • To develop strategies and respective procedures for enabling self-repairing of composite materials by critically analyzing the established techniques.
  • To establish novel routes and technologies for utilizing the self-healing functionalities in aero-structures.
  • To develop new protocols and testing methods in order to specifically quantify the healing magnitude.



2012- 2015        "Development of self healing Composite Materials and innovative technologies for structural health monitoring in aerospace structures"

THALES Programme “Reinforcement of the interdisciplinary and/or inter-institutional research and innovation with the possibility of attracting high standard researchers from abroad through the implementation of basic and applied excellence research”  is co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).


                                     thales 2 The partners of the project are the National Technical University of Athens (coordinator) the University of Patras and the University of Ioannina.  In this project we will attempt to manufacture various types of Thermally Remendable Polymers that follows the Diels-Alder (DA) chemical reaction, in order to select the most suitable for the particular application. Alongside the rapid development of nanotechnology and the possibility of manufacturing a nano-scale materials has opened new horizons in materials science.

The project combines these two technologies in an attempt to exploit the distinct properties to develop an advanced polymer with upgraded intrinsic properties. The basic idea is to add in a Thermally Remendable polymer matrix nano-inclusions (ferromagnetic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, micro wires) obtaining magnetic and electrical properties. A very important aspect is that these properties are proved to be strain depended. So by this manner, it will be possible to identify areas of the material where possible structural failure may start, as microcacks, or even identify damaged areas containing cracks, holes etc. Also the nano-inclusions will act as a heating susceptor (for induction, microwave heating) which will generate and eventually transfer heat to the material in order to activate its self healing properties.

The final result that will emerge from this research will be an advanced material with self healing and strain sensing capabilities which could be repaired locally without having the need to replace it.



2011- 2012            "Thermomechanical and Spectroscopic Characterisation of polymer substrates for photovoltaic cells"


helioThe project is concerned with the study of the mechanical and thermomechanical response of co-polymers employed as substrates in PV cells as well as their operational degradation with a view to their certification in operational environment. Within the scope of the project is the identification/ quality control of the materials with spectroscopic techniques. 


Bonded composite patches are ideal for aircraft structural repair as they offer enhanced specific properties, case-tailored performance and excellent corrosion resistance. Bonding further eliminates stress concentrations induced from mechanical fastening of metal sheets, seals the interface, and reduces the risk of fretting fatigue between the patch and the component.


IAPETUS focuses on the use of improved composite repair systems offering (i) the introduction of new on-aircraft simplified curing technologies, (ii) enhanced fatigue and damage tolerance properties and (iii) integrated damage sensing. This will be performed via the incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) both in the composite matrix of the repair patch as well as in the adhesive. The use CNT modified repair concept will lead to improved performance in the blunting of stress concentrations in the parent surface and the inhibition of crack propagation, leading to enhanced fatigue resistance at the locus of the repair as well as for the patch itself.


At the same time, the patch repair acquires additional functionalities. The CNT doped Carbon Composites can be tailored to reduce the galvanic corrosion in repaired Aluminium structures. As the patch becomes electrically and thermally conductive thermal energy can be infused in the patch either by direct resistance heating (using the patch itself as heating element via the application of electrical voltage) or by induction heating, to instigate a uniform matrix polymerization since the patch system appears improved thermal conductivity too. The electrically conductive percolated network can be employed to assess the damage within the patch and its interface with the repaired structure, as conductivity changes mirror the damage in the doubler/substrate system by tracing micro damage through breaches in the CNT network; thus, the structural efficiency monitoring at any stage in the service life of the aerostructure can be assessed non-destructively.


IAPETUS is realised by 7 industrial partners  (Fundación INASMET Spain, PZL-Swidnik Poland,  Huntsman Advanced Materials GmbH Switzerland, Integrated Aerospace Sciences Corporation (INASCO) Greece, DAHER Aerospace France, GMI AERO France, Hellenic Aerospace Industry SA Greece) and 3 Universities (University of Ioannina Greece,  University of Sheffield UK, University of Patras Greece).




FDM 2019

International conference on fracture and damage mechanics (FDM 2019)

The 18th international conference on fracture and damage mechanics (FDM 2019) will take place in Rodos (Rhodes), Greece. The conference series has the support of the experts in the field of fracture and damage mechanics and has become established as a leading international forum for presentation latest research. The high quality researches presented at the previous meetings are archived in conference proceedings published in book form. In addition special issues in leading journals such as International Journal of Fracture, Engineering Fracture Mechanics and Key Engineering Materials have been devoted to the work presented at the meeting. The proceedings one the 18th international conference will be published in the Journal of Key Engineering Materials and distributed to the delegates at the conference.

Abstracts: 31st January 2019
Papers: 19th April 2019
Registration: 19th April 2019

User Login