The next generation of aircraft could be thinner and lighter thanks to the development of a nonlinear acoustic imaging technique that can detect damage previously invisible to acoustic imaging systems. According to Dr. Jack Potter, research assistant in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Bristol’s Ultrasonics and Non-destructive Testing research group, it has long been understood that acoustic nonlinearity is sensitive to many physical properties including material microstructure and mechanical damage.
Oceanside, Calif.-based repair station AeroHoff Inspection Services is “a mobile advanced NDT provider and the only third-party MAUS [mobile automated scanner] operator in the country,” James Hofer, AeroHoff Inspection Services’ president, told AIN. MAUS is a scanning system for NDT inspection of large areas, such as an airframe, incorporating ultrasonic pulse echo, ultrasonic resonance and eddy current scanning ability.
As the aircraft fleet ages and the number of in-flight material fatigue incidents climbs, a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia says he has found a new and reliable method of identifying potentially dangerous cracks in aging aircraft.
Lockheed Martin UK awarded Thales UK an “intention to proceed” contract to upgrade the acoustics system of in-service EH101 Merlin HM Mk1 helicopters operated by the Royal Navy. Worth £27 million ($50 million), the contract covers 30 aircraft with an option for eight more.