Wireless NDI for Aircraft Inspection

Nondestructive inspections (NDI) play an important role in the manufacturing and maintenance of aircrafts. Conventionally, an NDI probe is placed on the testing structures and is connected to an NDI main unit through cable. However, this use of cable may cause problems such as foreign object damage, high cost and limitations of maneuverability. In our research, the prototype of wireless communication between the probe and main unit was developed for eddy current techniques. Such wireless probe aims at being inserted into different parts of aircrafts for both internal and external inspection without sacrificing NDI capabilities when compared to a cable-wired probe. The new wireless probe interface can generate various types of activation signals that are synchronized wirelessly with the main unit, and in the meantime, it can also process the received signal at the probe and send it back wirelessly to the main unit. Experiments on the detection, sizing and depth estimation of various types of defects were carried out and compared to wired NDI systems. Preliminary experimental results showed that the eddy current signals can be wirelessly communicated with main unit, and further research work needs to be done to improve the signal distortion.

References
1. http://www.olympus-ims.com/en/2000/ 2. Reid, M., B. Graubard, R.J. Weber, J.A. Dickerson, K. Smith, D. Raulerson, L. Brasche and G.Y. Baaklini, Wireless Eddy Current Probe For Engine Health Monitoring. 3. Reid, M., B. Graubard, R.J. Weber, J.A. Dickerson, K. Smith, D. Raulerson, L. Brasche and G.Y. Baaklini, Wireless Eddy Current Probe For Engine Health Monitoring (Phase II). 4. Enhanced wireless eddy current probe for a non-destructive inspection system, United States patent. Patent No. US 8,138,755 B2. 5. Wireless Transceiver and Method for Remote Ultrasonic Measurements, United States patent. Patent No. US 7,039,362 B2. 6. Pertsch, Alexander, Jin-Yeon Kim, Yang Wang and Laurence J. Jacobs, An Intelligent Stand-alone Ultrasonic Device for Monitoring Local Structural Damage: Implementation and Preliminary Experiments. 7. American Science and Technology (AST) technical reports, 2012-2013.
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