Imperium signs composites inspection deal with Boeing

Ultrasound camera system allows remote, real-time assessment of composite structure scanning.

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Imperium Inc. (Silver Spring, Md.) announced on Feb. 9 a project, developed in collaboration with The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.), that will implement a nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method that will enable aircraft maintenance experts to remotely inspect and review, in real time, composite structures located at another facility. Maintenance personnel will use Imperium’s Acoustocam ultrasound imaging camera to quickly survey damage without having to bring in unwieldy, conventional ultrasound equipment — all from remote locations. The handheld device can be used to conduct a quick survey of suspected damage areas, showing subsurface defects that cannot be spotted visually. The user simply places a probe against the aircraft structure and, with proper equipment setup, subsurface defects appear on a handheld monitor in real time (see link, right). The advantage of the remote operator interface is that the expert NDE technician can be stationed anywhere. “We believe remote expert monitoring can benefit the inspection process in countless ways for manufacturers of composite structures,” said Bob Lasser, president of Imperium. “We plan to roll out the program nationwide in 2009.”

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