Panel Step/Gap Mismatch Measurement

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-15-C-5075
Agency Tracking Number: F082-001-0017
Amount: $4,500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF082C-001
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
2925 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Zimdars
 (734) 864-5639
Business Contact
 Matthew Anderson
Title: Mr.
Phone: (734) 864-5605
Research Institution
In phase II we will develop a prototype TD-THz step/gap mismatch measurement system. This system will be able to measure the sub-surface ground-plane step and gap dimensions on the seams of panels on the F-35 aircraft. In phase I, we demonstrated the ability of the TD-THz method to measure the dimensions of the ground-plane step and gap through otherwise opaque boots and coatings. The first application of the Phase II prototype will be in the OEM manufacture of the F-35. Later, the step/gap measurement system can be used in a depot environment to set the step and gap of pre-coated replacement panels, and then eventually by Air Force field service personnel. The proposed TD-THz step/gap mismatch system is based on our T-RayTM 4000 TD-THz instrumentation platform. A major new capability to be developed in Phase II will be a hand-held high speed plug-in TD-THz line scanner with which the operator will inspect the seams. The system will acquire a B-scan across a seam and rapidly calculate the step and gap dimensions. The prototype TD-THz step/gap mismatch measurement system will be tested in the factory environment, demonstrating that it can measure the step and gap on all aircraft seam configurations. BENEFIT: Upon successful completion of Phase II, the proposed TD-THz inspection system will provide the Air Force with a highly capable non-destructive, non-contact, single-side inspection method for the determination of subsurface step/gap dimensions on aircraft doors and panels. The Phase II prototype system will be capable of accommodating all configurations required to be measured on the full-scale aircraft, including the various material suites, joint designs, and contours. The system will have additional applicability to other aircraft which use these coatings and boots.

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

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