DCMC Demonstration Event Large Area Inspection of Composites

On Wednesday 16 November 2022, the Development Center for Maintenance of Composites (DCMC) in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) organised a demonstration of advanced large-scale inspection techniques of composite structures. The demonstration is the result of one of the Workpackages (WP2) of the EFRO OPZuid Project PROJ-00730 – Fieldlab DCMC and gives a glimpse into an innovative application of non-destructive inspection techniques (NDI).

The demonstration took place in the recently opened facility of DCMC and ACRATS at the Aviolanda Aerospace business park in the presence of a large number of representatives of the civil and military aircraft maintenance industry.

Due to the increasing use of composites as a construction material in aircraft construction, the demand for fast and efficient inspection techniques is increasing. Members of NLR’s NDI project group gave an interactive session to combine the results from various non-destructive inspection techniques into a 3D scan of the inspected object. The methods used were 3D structural light scanning and Lock-in thermography.  Normally the methods Thru-transmission thermography and Laser shearography are also applied there, but due to the available time of the demonstration, only the results of these techniques were shown in the final 3D scan. During the demonstration, an aircraft radome was used as an inspection object with which the technology could be shown to the attendees. By first showing the results of the various inspection methods, it became clear what the possibilities and limitations of each method are. In the end, the results were combined into a complete image that was shown via a 3D scan of the inspected object and with which the condition of the object was clearly visible.

During the demonstration event, a second innovative inspection technique was also shown that is currently being developed by a group of students from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Delft University of Technology under the supervision of NLR. The topic ‘Swarm of Inspection Drones’ indicates that a methodology has been developed with which multiple drones in conjunction with each other can carry out an automated, visual inspection of a large object, such as an aircraft, wind turbine, ship, infrastructure object, etc. By means of an interactive presentation, the technique was explained, after which the attendees could experience the technique from the inside using a HoloLens.

The attached photos give an impression of the event. A video registration of the event can be found on the DCMC YouTube channel: Development Center for Maintenance of Composites – YouTube

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Large area inspection of composites
Swarm of Inspection Drones
DCMC Demo event 16 nov 2022