Luna Innovations is proposing to develop a revolutionary system for real-time NDE data collection, localization, and visualization. This effort will leverage Luna’s fiber-optic 3-D shape sensing technology to provide a precise position of an NDE tool in space, and will integrate a novel augmented-reality visualization tool to show NDE results in real time overlaid on the surface being analyzed. This system will reduce the complexity of scanning detailed structures by providing immediate identification of areas of concern, which will allow those areas to be scanned in more detail in the initial scan. In addition, the detailed position information and automatic registration of NDE data to precise locations on the structure will improve the accuracy of results, increase comparability of data from one scan to another, and enable automated or robotically assisted inspection processes.
During Phase I Luna will build a prototype system and demonstrate its performance on test surfaces with known geometries and defect profiles. The results will be projected on a model of the surface in a 3-D visualization software tool. Methods for transitioning the damage visualization data to augmented reality or VR hardware will be researched for development in the Phase II effort.
The proposed NDE visualization tool will enable faster, more accurate scanning of surfaces, and will provide real time results to users during the scanning process, facilitating quicker decision making based on reliable NDE data. Better data registration will improve NDE data resolution and accuracy, which will facilitate Digital Twin efforts. This new NDE damage visualization and localization capability will help NASA achieve its 100% inspected mission directive for programs such as Orion and will also benefit programs such as SLS and Artemis.
Better NDE data registration and visualization tools will benefit a large group of commercial companies that perform detailed NDE analyses across a wide range of industries. This new technology will particularly benefit Aerospace, Automotive and Manufacturing NDE efforts by providing higher quality results with less cost and complexity, ultimately leading to safer more reliable products.