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Underwater Velocity Indicator

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Thermal Wave Imaging, Inc.
845 Livernois Street Ferndale, MI 48220-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Underwater Velocity Indicator
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68335-01-C-0186
Award Amount: $69,970.00


The increased use of composite materials in the manufacture of structural aircraft components such as the V-22 tiltrotor requires that Nondestructive Evaluation is performed frequently in the early stages of the fabrication process. Although PulsedThermography has been demonstrated to be an effective tool for many composite NDE applications, it lacks the speed and low cycle time required for frequent inspection during manufacturing. We have proposed a new approach to composite NDE, EnhancedScanning Thermography, that provides the advantages offered by pulsed Thermography in a continuous scanning system that is ideal for the large, complex composite structures. The system will inspect parts while they are in the tooling at each debulk cycle,and provide fast, automated identification and measurement of defects such as wrinkles, voids or tape inclusions without operator input or intervention.Our proposal was formulated based on input from current and prospective customers in Government andprivate aerospace manufacturing, service, and R&D, including NASA, commercial airline, and military NDE personnel. We found that several major aerospace customers (Boeing, GKN Westland, Lockheed-Martin) were still using very crude scanning systems, simplybecause the systems matched the geometry of the parts they were inspecting. These customers indicated a high degree of interest in a scanning system that would incorporate the advanced features of the pulsed systems that they were using on otherapplications. Although the proposal has focused primarily on aerospace applications, significant market opportunities exist in the automotive and energy industries. The growing use of composites in automotive manufacturing and is presenting new QA and NDE challengesto the industry. TWI has been a pioneer in applying Pulsed Thermographic solutions to automotive applications, and has worked with Ford, GeneralMotors, Chrysler, Nissan and numerous Tier 1 suppliers. The automotive market is distinctly different than the aerospace market, primarily because of the high volume requirements and the importance of autonomous, on-line systems. TWI has recognized andresponded to these needs, will build on our experience in the automotive industry in marketing the scanning system.

Principal Investigator:

Steven Shepard

Business Contact:

Rebecca Simpson
Small Business Information at Submission:

845 Livernois Street Ferndale, MI 48220

EIN/Tax ID: 383076506
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No