Aircraft fatigue damage inspection

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
FA8501-09-P-0115
Award Id:
93209
Agency Tracking Number:
F083-246-2312
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
625120902
Principal Investigator:
RussellAustin
Principal Investigator
(512) 263-2101
raustin@tri-austin.com
Business Contact:
MonteFellingham
Contracts Administrator
(512) 263-2101
mfellingham@tri-austin.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
Currently to inspect for fatigue damage around fasteners in multi-layer structures requires either removing the fastener entirely or a perfect sealant layer between the layers for ultrasonic testing. We propose developing a novel inspection system that uses acoustic emission to inspect the multi-layer structures. Our approach does not require removing, modifying, or altering in any way the fastener nor the multi-layer structure. During Phase I we will develop the initial prototypical design of our inspection system, construct a prototype, and demonstrate its ability to detect corner flaws in the multi-layer structure around fasteners. Future efforts will be devoted to moving from the lab to the field to provide the Air Force with a practical, easy-to-use inspection solution. TRI is currently using the LAHMP AE system to monitor fatigue cracks in C-5 skins. The lessons learned in this internally funded C-5 project will form the basis for the proposed Phase I work. BENEFIT: Studies have shown that reducing the number of fastener removals required for inspection can save the Air Force millions, as much as $65 million dollars for the B-1B alone. Since our system drops the number of fastener removals to zero, we anticipate that even more significant savings can be realized by the Air Force. In addition, due to the ubiquitous nature of multi-layer structures in aerospace, we anticipate similar savings can be realized by the Navy, Marines, and commercial airlines.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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