Ultrasound Camera for Rapid, Simple NDE of Rotor Blade Assemblies

Period of Performance: 12/01/2008 - 06/01/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Imperium, Inc.
9700 Great Seneca Highway
Rockville, MD 20903
Principal Investigator


Based on the success of our Phase I SBIR, Imperium, Inc., with Boeing and Bell Helicopter, is submitting this proposal for the development of a field portable low cost ultrasound camera for the rapid, simple inspection for disbonds in helicopter rotor blades. As composites become more prevalent in programs such as the V22 or H1, the need for inspection of these structures is vital. Presently, there is no easy to use, simple device for maintenance personnel to find defects in blades, especially by non-specialists at the Fleet Readiness Centers (FRC s). The inspection process is slow and labor intensive, taking many hours to perform the inspection with poor resolution. The Imperium device alleviates these issues. Specifically, we will design, build, test, and deliver a through transmission ultrasound camera device for internal blade defect detection which requires minimal training. The device will be used in a dry , or non-immersion mode. To use the device, the inspector will simply place the device over the area in question and begins scanning. A large area image will be formed. A 12 x12 area will be covered within one minute. The image quality generated is far superior to that of conventional A-scan systems or phased array ultrasonics.