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Automated NDE Flaw Mapping System

Project Mission | Intellectual Property | Project Status

PROJECT MISSION

The prevailing approach to non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of aircraft components is to set an inspection schedule based on what is generally known about the component in question.  Engineers perform tests on samples, get field reports, and include a safety factor based on criticality.  Then, when the schedule dictates, the component is inspected and a binary decision is made: Back in service?  Or retooled/scrapped?

Unfortunately, this approach throws away much of the useful information that can be gathered from non-destructive evaluation.  When a component is inspected, a detailed picture of the current health of the component is generated.  However, the engineer would have to characterize and integrate the flaw data into the CAD model of the component for this information to be useful for predictive modeling.  This is a time-consuming process, especially considering the sheer number of aircraft components inspected each year.  In this project, we are leveraging our unique background and skill set to solve this problem.

We are leveraging our experience with Sikorsky's inspection process, as well as our work in the fields of motion tracking and position/orientation determination for augmented reality, to design and build a system that is able to determine component orientation, track sensor head position/orientation, quantify sensor data, and update the component CAD model to represent the results of the non-destructive evaluation. This enables the generation of a historical document that details the part, any detected abnormalities, details about these abnormalities, and changes to the abnormalities over time.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Non-destructive Evaluation Tools.

PROJECT STATUS

Completed for NASA (Langley Research Center).

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