Automated, Rapid Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) of Large Scale Composite Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-11-C-0174
Agency Tracking Number: N092-097-0579
Amount: $749,915.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N092-097
Solicitation Number: 2009.2
Small Business Information
Thermal Wave Imaging, Inc.
845 Livernois Street, Ferndale, MI, -
DUNS: 877627968
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Shepard
 President
 (248) 414-3730
 sshepard@thermalwave.com
Business Contact
 Rebecca Simpson
Title: Administrator
Phone: (248) 414-3730
Email: bsimpson@thermalwave.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Automated, rapid, non-destructive inspection of large scale composite structures is an ongoing challenge for just about every NDI technology currently deployed in the aerospace, power generation, wind energy, and automotive industries. Both hardware and software limitations have dictated the level of inspection throughput, accuracy and reliability. In Phase I, TWI developed and demonstrated feasibility of a novel technique to thermographically inspect large composite areas at a large standoff without expected trade-off in performance. Using a sophisticated signal processing scheme and projected, modulated optical excitation, we demonstrated detection of subsurface features in composite materials at a working distance of 45 feet from the target. The results were comparable to (and in some cases better than) results from commercial flash thermography systems operating at close range. In Phase II, we shall build on the Phase I program and develop a commercially viable solution (prototype) - LASLAT (Large Standoff / Large Area Thermogrpahy) offering flexibility so it can be readily adapted to a broad range of applications requiring rapid large area NDI with a focus on wings of C-130J family of aircraft operated by our military.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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