Real-Time Ultrasound Camera Inspection of Fasteners in Aerospace Structures
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The purpose of this Phase II SBIR proposal is to develop a device capable of detecting cracks in the vicinity of fasteners in aerospace structures through the use of an ultrasound camera. During our earlier Phase I effort, we were successful in demonstrating that cracks could be imaged quickly and with high resolution using this technique. Present inspection methods employ an ultrasonic testing transducer that is slowly rotated around a fastener to develop a map of the full 360 degree region. Since a focused beam transducer is used, only a single pencil-point region is checked at a time, so the process takes minutes per fastener. These devices also require extensive training. The combination of long inspection times and high operator skill requirements limits the overall probability of detection of any cracks or flaws. Eddy current systems are effective but only for near surface anomalies. In contrast, the ultrasound camera shows deeper cracks than what eddy currents can generate. The ultrasound camera system will generate real time, high resolution images of subsurface cracks on an LCD or monitor. The low cost system will be easy to use and capable of rapid inspection, covering a fastener in well under one minute.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1738 Elton Road, #218 Suite 218 Silver Spring, MD 20903
Number of Employees: