Automated, Rapid Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) of Large Scale Composite Structures

Period of Performance: 07/30/2014 - 08/01/2016


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Thermal Wave Imaging, Inc.
845 Livernois Stret
Ferndale, MI 48220
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT In the previous Phase II program, TWI demonstrated that Large Standoff / Large Area Thermography (LASLAT) can successfully be applied to Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) of composite aircraft structures. The method employed was based on optical excitation using a novel projector and signal processing developed by TWI. Capability was demonstrated on a composite structure at a standoff distance of 12 ft. In Phase II.5, the concept will be refined and implemented for inspection in the maintenance hangar for inspection of V-22 prop-rotor blades. Improvements will include scan automation, the ability to teach the system a new inspection routine and additional capabilities for flaw detection and characterization. A general procedure for determining appropriate inspection parameters for a new inspection will be provided. Limits of detectability for materials and flaws of interest at a 10 ft. standoff distance will be determined through modeling and experiment. The system will be evaluated on V-22 aircraft at FRC East (Cherry Point, NC).