Defense

August 5, 2016
 

AFRL Damage Registration Sensor improves high-performance engine exhaust inspections

Tags:
Holly Jordan
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

An aircraft maintainer demonstrates the Auto-Scan: Inlet and Exhaust Damage Registration Sensor. This tool, developed through an AFRL Critical Small Business Innovative Research contract with Intelligent Automation, Inc., provides a faster and easier way to characterize inlet and exhaust damage in high-performance aircraft.

The Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, along with small business contractor Intelligent Automation, Inc., has developed and demonstrated a unique tool that will make routine aircraft engine exhaust inspections faster and more accurate.

The Auto-Scan: Inlet and Exhaust Damage Registration Sensor was developed through a $4 million Critical Small Business Innovative Research contract with Intelligent Automation, Inc., for the development of a tool to quickly and accurately characterize inlet and exhaust damage in high-performance aircraft. 

These specialized aircraft routinely experience high temperatures and extreme operating conditions, necessitating regular inspections and maintenance. Typically, these inspections have consisted of visual analysis and manual trace and transfer plotting of damage occurrences. The process usually involves more than one maintainer and several hours of labor. These manual methods can lead to inaccurate or incomplete interpretation and human error.

The Auto-Scan sensor provides an automated and easily-implemented solution to the inspection problem. The tool is operated by one maintainer, capturing an image of the surface defect, and determining its shape, outlining the perimeter, and calculating its area, depth, location, and orientation. This information is then transferred to the aircraft’s health assessment system for further analysis.

By using this tool, maintainers can characterize, localize, register, and transfer information about damage and defects, speeding up the inspection process, improving data accuracy, and minimizing operator-induced error.

“This tool changes the face of routine field maintenance by making it not only more accurate, but faster and easier, so that we decrease the amount of time the aircraft are out of service,” said Juan Calzada, AFRL project engineer.  “It also ensures data is recorded easily and accurately, so it really makes the maintainer’s job a lot easier all around.”

Following the successful demonstration of the Auto-Scan tool, AFRL is now transitioning it for operational deployment to the field as part of a $2.5 million Rapid Innovation Fund effort.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – November 16, 2018

News Murder charges filed against Navy, Marine special operators in incident that killed Green Beret in Africa – Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders will face murder charges in the June 2017 death of an Army Special Forces staff sergeant in Mali.   DOD audit: Air Force finds mystery motors, other highlights – Saddled...
 
 

News Briefs – November 16, 2018

AF identifies deceased pilot The aircrew members involved in the T-38 Talon incident from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, on Nov. 13, 2018, have been identified. The deceased, Capt. John F. Graziano, 28, was an instructor pilot with the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB. He was from Elkridge, Md., and is survived by...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: John Wayne’s contributions to the war effort

Courtesy photograph John Wayne, along with fellow USO entertainers in Australia. “Like my friend Gary Cooper,” Wayne said, “I’m here to entertain the troops. I have no special act, but hope to get by on appearances.” ...