Detection of Corrosion Under Space Shuttle Tiles
This project will develop a practical, nondestructive inspection technique for the detection of corrosion hidden under the reusable surface insulation tiles found in thermal protection systems. This technique is based on an innovative use of x-ray interactions to discriminate low levels of corrosion from airframe structural materials, such as magnesium, aluminum, and titanium alloys. A second innovation in detection greatly speeds up the measurement and reduces the cost. This results in an accurate measurement of low level corrosion at rates approaching a few seconds point. Phase I will empirically demonstrate the sensitivity and throughput using a breadboard instrument and realistic thermal protection system configurations. Phase II will develop a prototype of the instrument and demonstrate the ability to inspect large areas for hidden corrosion.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Dr. Jerel 1. Smith
Senior Staff Scientist
425 Lakeside Dr. Sunnyvale, CA 94086
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