Radio Frequency (RF) Traveling Wave Inspection Tool
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: Modern Air Force vehicles employ specialized coatings to enhance signature performance by attenuating surface traveling waves. Maintenance of these coatings has been historically difficult. Specialized aircraft coatings can degrade over time and compromise desired performance. Unfortunately all LO defects are not evident as part of a visual inspection or point inspection reflectance measurement. Full-up vehicle testing to evaluate coating performance in a maintenance setting is time consuming and expensive. The traveling wave attenuation is the true measure of the coating effectiveness and cannot be properly characterized or evaluated at a single point using a reflectometer. This proposed Matrix Research effort will result in a traveling wave inspection tool that can be used on the flight line to directly measure surface wave attenuation over areas of the aircraft, not just reflectance at a point. The effort includes CEM modeling to design small traveling wave exciters and then integrate them into a versatile traveling wave measurement tool. This single tool excites traveling waves on a coating in situ then measures them some distance away. This tool can be moved to various locations on the surface of the aircraft to evaluate the coating. BENEFIT: Although this topic is somewhat unique to the platform under consideration, this tool could be used for a variety of EMI measurements.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Matrix Research Inc
1300 Research Park Dr Dayton, OH 45432-
Number of Employees: