Enhanced Nondestructive Evaluation via Model-assisted Ultrasonic Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-M-5150
Agency Tracking Number: F121-129-1586
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-129
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
Technical Data Analysis, Inc.
3190 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 650, Falls Church, VA, -
DUNS: 010983174
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nicole Apetre
 (703) 237-1300
Business Contact
 Scott Bradfield
Title: President
Phone: (703) 237-1300
Email: sbradfield@tda-i.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The proposed research program will develop tools for the improved characterization of defects in complex aircraft structures. The resulting Structural Damage Sensing (SDS) tools are expected to provide at least a 20% improvement in detection capabilities. This will be achieved through the application of transducer arrays for generating, sensing and processing of ultrasonic bulk and guided waves. Phased arrays and distributed arrays will be considered along with adaptive imaging schemes updated by results from efficient numerical models also developed as part of the research. The study will rely on results and procedures which have been proven effective for the analysis of low-frequency ultrasonic waves and guided wave based imaging. These procedures will be extended to bulk waves for high-frequency, high resolution imaging. BENEFIT: Structural Damage Sensing (SDS) systems which will be developed during this work are important for safety, efficiency of maintenance, platform availability and longevity. Safety is related with the SDS potential to detect and assess hazardous rogue flaws before they become critical to the aircraft. Efficiency of maintenance is associated with the Department's of Defence (DoD) major objective to migrate to condition-based maintenance by improving maintenance agility and responsiveness for quicker turnaround times, increased operational availability, and reduced total life cycle ownership cost. The customizable SDS tool as envisioned in this effort could be used in many industries such as aerospace, automotive or machinery to significantly improve the reliability of various systems. Through the innovative theoretical developments and practical demonstration of these innovations, the Structural Health Monitoring/Nondestructive Evaluation/Prognosis and health management (SHM/NDE/PHM) technology under development here, offers a tremendous opportunity for accurate and rapid damage assessment.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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