Portable High Resolution Imaging for NDI of Hot Section Aero Turbine Components

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-06-M-0289
Agency Tracking Number: N064-011-0276
Amount: $69,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N06-T011
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Timothy Tiernan
 Group Leader
 (617) 668-6801
Business Contact
 Gerald Entine
Title: President
Phone: (617) 668-6801
Email: gentine@rmdinc.com
Research Institution
 Nian Sun
 409 Dana Research Center NEU,
Boston, MA, 02115
 (617) 373-4159
 Nonprofit college or university
New technology is needed for the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of defects in gas turbine engines. While these defects adversely affect hot-section performance and reduce component life, they are difficult to detect and characterize without destructive inspection. The lack of detailed flaw detection and characterization raises safety concerns, hampers fleet readiness and negatively impacts the life of hot section components. RMD, in collaboration with the Electrical Engineering Department at Northeastern University, proposes a new NDE technology based on high resolution, 3-D imaging of eddy currents induced in coated metallic jet engine components to characterize microscopic cracks, coating degradation, cooling hole blockage and other defects. A portable high resolution camera for magnetic fields will be developed based on a 2-D array of densely packed, micron-wide, tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) sensors combined with a proprietary flux to field converter. With sensitivity nearly 1 billion times better than the coils now used as eddy current sensors, the NDE camera will be used to detect and map the dimensions and positions of microscopic defects in the metal. RMD and NEU have broad experience in TMR sensor development, flux to field converter design, model based design and NDE system development and manufacture. BENEFITS: The result of a successful Phase I/Phase II program will be an affordable new NDE/NDI imaging technology for characterizing defects in jet engine components. A simple test procedure that requires little operator training will yield images of defects such as small cracks, casting defects and coating properties that can be analyzed in a rapid and intuitive manner. The system will be highly portable, low power and readily repairable. DOD markets include NDE for jet engines; space vehicles; transport vehicles and infrastructure. Other applications include battlefield applications, covert perimeter sensors and active feedback of electro-mechanical systems. Commercial applications range from biomedical sensors, to machine vision systems for manufacturing process control and quality assurance.

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

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