Microwave Mapping-Transparency Sensor System

Period of Performance: 09/30/2013 - 09/30/2015

$4MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Compass Technology Group
4790 Converse Ct
Marietta, GA 30062
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Aircraft transparency systems such as canopies incorporate conductive layers that provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. These conductive layers require inspection during manufacturing and throughout the life of the aircraft to ensure proper electrical performance is achieved and maintained. Current manufacturing inspections are conducted manually, are time consuming, and do not cover 100% of the transparency surface. Compass Technology Group (CTG) proposes an expanded Phase II effort to develop and demonstrate a new concept in microwave nondestructive evaluation (NDE) in support of the Air Force s requirement for transparent conductive canopy coating testing. The offered design specifically addresses the need for high-fidelity measurements of defects and manufacturing variations in aircraft windows in both factory and in-service (depot and field) environments. This recommended concept is easily automated while still providing improved sensitivity over a broad frequency range when compared to existing measurement methods, the proposed Phase II program not only develops the measurement concept but also includes advanced development of automation of the technology so that it is fully demonstrated in the manufacturing environment by the end of the effort. BENEFIT: This Phase 2 effort concludes with the installation and testing of a production MM-TSS at a manufacturing facility. It provides a fully operational system for immediately meeting the Air Force need for QA testing of advanced transparencies. Thus there will be a developed product line that can then be leveraged for improved QA testing of other advanced transparencies. Additionally, it provides a near-term route for realizing advanced canopy testing systems for use in Depot and Flight-line environments. Finally, the technology developed here also has immediate application to radome testing and could be a disruptive influence in both the improved manufacture and maintenance of RF radomes across many platforms.