|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||03-II T7.02-9787|
|PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER:||NNL04AB52P|
|RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Non-Destructive Evaluation, Health Monitoring and Life Determination of Aerospace Vehicles/Systems|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||Three Dimensional Volumetric Terahertz Scanning for Aerospace Non Destructive Evaluation|
|SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC):||RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):|
|NAME:||Picotronix, Inc. dba Picometrix, Inc.||NAME:||Rice University|
|ADDRESS:||2925 Boardwalk||ADDRESS:||Office of Sponsored Research|
|STATE/ZIP:||MI 48104-6765||STATE/ZIP:||TX 77251-1892|
|PHONE:||(734) 864-5605||PHONE:||(713) 348-4820|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA and the aerospace industry are beginning to utilize terahertz (THz) reflection imaging (for example, examining the space shuttle external tank sprayed on foam insulation for voids and disbonds). THz non destructive evaluation (NDE) imaging is widely applicable to composite resin, ceramic, plastic, natural, and other non-metallic materials. Current commercial equipment is capable of 2D raster scanning, collecting THz waveforms from a very narrow depth range. THz NDE technology can be more fully exploited if high speed 3D THz imaging is realized. Phase II work will enable objects many inches thick to be imaged in 3D an order of magnitude faster than current 2D imaging configurations. We will develop and demonstrate the following innovative imaging methodologies for high speed, high sensitivity 3D NDE imaging: 1) Improved 3-dimensional THz Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Background-free THz SAR (rapid imaging); 2)Travel-time 3D Reflection THz tomography (high resolution 3D structure); and 3) Interferometric THz time-of-flight bulk imaging (greater sensitivity to small voids and disbonds). We will enhance our Phase I tomographic testbed, construct an improved high resolution co-linear reflection transceiver, modify the transceiver for interferometry, and deliver a software suite of imaging algorithms for the T-Ray 2000 THz NDE platform.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Terahertz imaging is currently utilized to inspect the space shuttle external tank sprayed on foam insulation for voids and disbonds. Additional aerospace NDE applications include: thermal protection systems (space shuttle silica tiles), cork layers used in the booster rockets, ceramic coated turbine blades, composite structures, laminates, and surfaces of carbon-carbon material. These materials are in systems in which the 3D internal examination of new construction for flaws (voids, disbonds, inclusions, improper geometry and dimensions, and incomplete curing) may be critical. As spacecraft and aircraft age it will be critical to periodically inspect systems for damage, fatigue and chemical degradation.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Terahertz 3D imaging applications can include inspection of automobile dashboards, imaging behind walls and flooring surfaces in construction, inspection for delamination of printed circuit boards and tires as well as with manufactured parts such as tiling and paper products. Terahertz 3D imaging benefits homeland security applications under development such as personnel and luggage inspection for concealed weapons and explosives (in clothing, shoes, etc.). Terahertz is non-ionizing allowing people to be safely imaged as well as packages. THz imaging and spectroscopy can inspect items in shipment such as mail, cardboards packages, and plastic and wood crates.