Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy: An novel approach for finding cracks in composite materials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: DASG6003P0211
Agency Tracking Number: 031-1004
Amount: $69,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
NOMADICS, INC.
1024 S. Innovation Way, Stillwater, OK, 74074
Duns: 879735579
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Shelton
 Principal Investigator
 (405) 372-9535
 rshelton@nomadics.com
Business Contact
 James Luby
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (405) 372-9535
Email: jluby@nomadics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The utilization of composite materials is vital in achieving the objectives of our nation's missile defense programs. However, composite materials can develop micro-cracking and other flaws that are difficult to detect. The need fornon-destructive-testing (NDT) and evaluation (NDE) of composite materials is critically important as structural integrity must be monitored in missile systems while at the same time a single asset failure can have devastating consequences. Unfortunately,current NDT technologies such as ultrasonic testing (UT) and radiography testing (RT) are typically difficult to use in the field and have significant drawbacks. Nomadics' solution is to use ultrafast, Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy (THz TDS) as atechnology platform to produce a reliable, field-portable, and cost-effective system for detecting flaws in composites used in missiles. Nomadics, in collaboration with Oklahoma State University, is eminently qualified to implement the technology and takeit to a marketable commercial product. Nomadics has a track record as an innovative, customer-oriented, technically qualified company and past partnerships with OSU have been highly successful. OSU researchers are recognized as world experts in the fieldof THz TDS and have ample resources to conduct experiments required to demonstrate the effectiveness THz TDS as a flaw detection and characterization technology. The proposed system will allow in-place inspection of fielded aerospace systems, reducingmission-readiness downtime, dangerous removal and dismantling procedures, and costly laboratory procedures, while providing accurate results. These procedures will be applicable to the inspection of commercial and private aircraft and other types ofcomposite material fabrications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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