Autonomous Imaging Ultrasound System for Underwater Inspection of Ship Hulls

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00167-11-P-0447
Agency Tracking Number: N111-031-0593
Amount: $79,930.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: N111-031
Solicitation Number: 2011.1
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, -
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Darin Knaus
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
 dak@creare.com
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Email: contractsmgr@creare.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Navy requirements have motivated the need for technologies capable of performing detailed scans over large areas of a ship"s hull for hidden defects. Existing technologies for identifying hull defects underwater primarily involve point measurements of the hull thickness. Applying this technique to a large hull, such as an aircraft carrier"s, can be extremely time consuming and has limited effectiveness, potentially leading to significant defects being missed by the inspection. We propose an ultrasound-based imaging approach that will allow for near-100% inspection of the submerged portion of a ship"s hull with a high level of detection accuracy. The imaging system will be mounted on an autonomous vehicle that will move about the ship"s hull collecting ultrasound image data and processing it to generate hull-plate thickness image data over a majority of the submerged surface of the hull. This approach will minimize manpower and turnaround time for inspections, and significantly increase inspection accuracy. In Phase I, we will develop a detailed design concept for our autonomous imaging ultrasound system, and we will prototype and test the core ultrasound components of the system. In Phase II, we will fabricate and test a full prototype system suitable for laboratory testing and future field trials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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