SBIR/STTR Phase II: Machine Vision System for Automated Imaging and Process Control

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 0132025
Amount: $487,477.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
TPL, Inc.
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Timothy Tiernan
 (505) 342-8155
 ttiernan@tplinc.com
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop an entirely new form of machine vision technology for process control of metallic components. The technology is based on an array of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors that produce high-resolution images of hidden defects, missing parts, and other features. Minute GMR sensors detect magnetic fields associated with eddy currents induced in the component being imaged. High spatial resolution images are achieved through the high density and small size of the sensors in the array, coupled with the high sensitivity, low noise, and fast response of the sensors. A GMR sensor array, combined with a magnetic field generator, can produce high resolution, three-dimensional images of parts as they are produced, using a rugged, non-contacting sensor system. The images provide on-line feedback for process control, quality assurance, and safety protocols. The Phase I project developed functional GMR sensor arrays, and successfully imaged defects in metallic parts clearly demonstrating that the technology is feasible. The commercial potential of the proposed technology will be in manufacturing, quality assurance (QA), and process control. It will be used for rapid imaging and inspection of parts used in electronics, aerospace, automotive, transportation, construction, biomedical and other industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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