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Development of a thermal excitation source used in an active thermographic UAV platform

dataset
posted on 20.07.2022, 11:19 authored by Shakeb DeaneShakeb Deane, Antonios TsourdosAntonios Tsourdos, Nico AvdelidisNico Avdelidis, Argyrios ZolotasArgyrios Zolotas, Xavier P. V. Maldague, Clemente Ibarra-Castanedo, Marc Genest, Shashank Pant, Alex WilliamsonAlex Williamson, Stephen Withers, Mohammadali Ahmadi
This work aims to address the effectiveness and challenges of using active infrared thermography (IRT) on-board an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform. The work seeks to assess the performance of small low powered forms of excitation which are suitable for active thermography and the ability to locate subsurface defects on composites. An excitation source in the form of multiple 250 W lamps are mounted onto a UAV and are solely battery powered with a remote trigger to power cycle them. Multiple experiments address the interference from the UAV whilst performing an active IRT inspection. The optimal distances and time required for a UAV inspection using IRT is calculated. Multiple signal processing techniques are used to analyse the composites which helps locate the sub-surface defects. It was observed that a UAV can successfully carry the required sensors and equipment for an Active thermographic NDT inspection which can provide access to difficult areas. Most active thermographic inspection equipment is large, heavy, and expensive. Furthermore, using such equipment for inspection of complex structures is time-consuming. For example, a cherry picker would be required to inspect the tail of an aircraft. This solution looks to assist engineers inspecting complex composite structures and could potentially significantly reduce the time and cost of a routine inspection.

Funding

DTP 2016-2017 Cranfield University

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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History

Authoriser (e.g. PI/supervisor)

a.tsourdos@cranfield.ac.uk