Reliable Portable Device for Inspection and Assessment of Guy Cables Supporting Tall Structures

Period of Performance: 08/21/2007 - 02/21/2008

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Quest Integrated, Inc.
19823 58th Place S
Kent, WA 98032
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Guy cables are used to support tall man-made structures, including broadcast antenna masts. Failure of a guy cable results in destruction of the mast with significant damage and impact. We will design, build and prove a portable online robotic system with unique non-destructive examination capabilities to detect flaws which result in loss of cable strength. The methods used will include standard magnetic flux methodologies for detection of local flaws and loss of metallic cross-sectional area supplemented by QUEST Integrated proprietary technology to detect hidden internal corrosion as well as pitting and fretting damage in sub-surface layers of the metal cable. The device will operate on a range of cable diameters and will be designed for use in a live operational high-voltage radio frequency environment. Existing systems and proven technology will be adapted for use in this new application. Significant experience in measuring and modelling corrosion and fatigue in metal cable and knowledge of the key degradation mechanisms will be applied to automatic software recognition of typical flaw signatures.