Nondestructive Red Plague Detection with Impedance Measurements

Period of Performance: 12/17/2015 - 12/16/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


Luna Innovations will develop technology to nondestructively detect red plague in silver-plated copper wire. The galvanic corrosion between silver and copper which causes red plague is not reliably detectable with conventional cable test equipment and methods and detection instead relies upon destructive techniques, such as stripping off the insulation. Nondestructive red plague detection technology is needed to reduce the risk of wire failure, increase readiness, and decrease maintenance costs. Luna is proposing two complimentary technologies for nondestructively detecting red plague based upon electromagnetic effects. Together, these two techniques can detect red plague in wire conductors and shielding both before and after incorporation into electronic equipment. For example, the magnetic fields that cause the skin effect are distorted by red plague in a wire?s conductor. Finite element method magnetcs (FEMM) will be leveraged to model how the severity and location of red plague affect impedance/resistance at a given frequency. The red plague will be produced with reliable control over severity and location in Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene (XL-ETFE) isulated silver-plated copper wire. The capability and sensitiveity of the two nondestructive detection techniques will be compaired and validated against a destructive technique for quantify the production of copper oxides through red plague corrosion. (Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8482 (17 November 15))