Prosi: Precision Optical-gps Metrology for Simultaneous Machining and Inspection

Period of Performance: 09/28/2011 - 06/28/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials Technologies Corp.
Monroe, CT 06468
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: At present, the common practice in the fighter aircraft industry is to use touch probes as secondary measurement systems to maintain tight machining tolerance control. The current touch-probe inspection process renders the typical milling machine idle while features of the machined part are slowly and intrusively being inspected, one feature at a time, over 1.5 to 3 hours per part. To meet the demand of one aircraft per day on the F-35 JSF program by FY2017, it is imperative that this time consuming inspection process be replaced with more efficient, accurate and rapid non-contact inspection methods. To address these immediate Air Force needs, Materials Technologies Corporation (MTC) and its team members propose PROSI: PRecision Optical-GPS Metrology for Simultaneous Machining and Inspection, based on our patented Retro-Grate Reflector (RGR) technology. During machining, the PROSI system independently verifies PMM movements and completely eliminates the need for the separate inspection step. At the end of the Phase I program prototype PROSI system will be demonstrated and hence achieve MRL 5. The program is tailored to provide MRL 7 level system at the end of the Phase II program. BENEFIT: Secondary verification of machining tool movements provide benefit to any application for high-precision, large work volume motion. Examples include civil aircraft manufacturing and fabrication of turbines and other high-precision machinery. If integrated into machine tool controls, the PROSI system can provide temperature compensation for precision machine tools.