Wireless Technology for Probes and Accessories for Nondestructive Inspection Testing Instruments
ABSTRACT: In an effort to improve nondestructive inspections (NDI), American Science & Technology (AST) is developing wireless capability for specific pieces of NDI equipment in the areas of eddy current and ultrasonic technologies. Traditionally, this equipment requires a cable connection from the host controller to the handheld probe. AST"s work would develop an attachment for the host controller as well as for the probe which would simulate the communication process achieved through a direct cable connection. This project is unique from other wireless adapters in that it would be specifically engineered to work with NDI equipment. Specific circuitry to drive NDI probes, high-speed wireless communication between controller and host, and integrated impedance-matching hardware would all be incorporated to ensure the most accurate representation of wired communication. The major advantage to this system would be its ability to be incorporated into pre-existing equipment without the need for purchase of new, modified NDI equipment offering a cost-savings aspect over other approaches. BENEFIT: Wireless communication with the NDI equipment will result in eliminating the need to run NDI cables throughout an aircraft or engine; therefore, removing the possibility of the cables damaging the structure. This will also drastically improve NDI efficiencies by reducing inspection times. There will be no need for a technician to spend time running cables into tight and hazardous areas of an aircraft or engine. Third, a significant cost savings will occur since damaged cables will no longer need to be replaced. Furthermore, unlike the cables, the wireless communication device will be repairable should they become damaged. This technology will be easily transferrable to the airline industries where NDI is widely used. Locally, the technology can be applied to the Air National Guard fleet in Sioux Falls and to military aircraft stations at Ellsworth Air Force base in Rapid City, SD.
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American Science and Technology
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