Enhanced Bondline Inspection Using Computed Tomography (CT) for Solid Rocket Motor Aging and Surveillance

Period of Performance: 07/25/2007 - 04/25/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lickenbrock Technologies LLC
4041 Forest Park Ave. Array
St. Louis, MO 63108
Principal Investigator

Abstract

X-ray computed tomography (CT) is used to evaluate the integrity of solid rocket motors (SRM s) used in the missile defense fleet. There is a need for better visualization of bondlines of materials, and detection of flaws, especially in the SRM s dome region. This problem is due to partial volume effects inherent in CT instruments. This project will develop and investigate algorithms and computer programs for compensating for these problems. At the core of the approach is a deconvolution algorithm that improves 3D image resolution along the axial direction. The Phase I project will include the following: (1) mathematical formulation of candidate algorithms, (2), implementation of a computer simulation of the partial volume effects, (3), implementation and testing of choices of algorithms, and (4), experimentation to demonstrate the feasibility of detecting bondline flaws. The Phase II project will implement the computer program, and test this program with CT image data from the CT Facility at the Hill Air Force Base.