Total Integrated Robotic Structural Inspection for Enhanced Aircraft Life and Safety
Bridge, B and Sattar, TP (2001). Total Integrated Robotic Structural Inspection for Enhanced Aircraft Life and Safety. 17th International Conference on CAD/CAM, Robotics and Factories of the Future. Durban, South Africa 10 - 12 Jul 2001 pp. 444-453
|Bridge, B and Sattar, TP
Aircraft life can be extended, safety standards and passenger confidence enhanced, and structural inspection costs dramatically reduced, by establishing at major airports specialised ‘Total Inspection Centres’ that would be open 24 hours a day. Aircraft would be flown to these centres. Here every relevant type of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) sensor would be deployed by multi-axis robots moving on Cartesian gantries to cover the wing, fuselage, tail and rudder. Each inspection would produce a defect map of 100% of the aircraft surface. This is very unreliable if done manually because of operator fatigue.
A gantry robotic system has the advantage that very heavy NDT sensors such as X-ray tubes and SQUID magnetometers can be deployed in addition to all the more common sensors such as ultrasonic and Eddy current probe arrays. Acoustic emission monitoring of an entire airframe can be achieved with robotic scanning without the need for a vast and expensive array of sensors. This would be most useful for fuselage pressure testing.
At present NDT of aircraft is carried out in many relatively small units attached to individual airports that cannot possibly afford the whole range of NDT equipment and robotic deployment facilities. A specialised centre can do so and in addition achieve complete data fusion of the results from different sensors.
|Aircraft inspection; Aircraft NDT & NDE; Integrated Robotoc NDT
|Accepted author manuscript
|10 Jul 2001
|Publication process dates
|19 Dec 2018
|01 Dec 2000
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