Quantitative thermal imaging analysis of aircraft materials: through skin sensing (Invited Paper)
Avdelidis, N.P., Nelson, L.J. and Almond, D.P. (2005) Quantitative thermal imaging analysis of aircraft materials: through skin sensing (Invited Paper). Thermosense XXVII, 5782. pp. 324-333.
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1117/12.592437
Thermal non-destructive testing (NDT) is commonly used for assessing aircraft structures. This research work evaluates the potential of pulsed -- transient thermography for locating fixtures beneath aircraft skins in order to facilitate accurate automated assembly operations. Representative aluminium and carbon fibre aircraft skin-fixture assemblies were modelled using thermal modelling software. The assemblies were also experimentally investigated with an integrated pulsed thermographic evaluation system, as well as using a custom built system incorporating a miniature un-cooled camera. Modelling showed that the presence of an air gap between skin and fixture significantly reduced the thermal contrast developed, especially in aluminium. Experimental results show that fixtures can be located to accuracies of 0.5 mm.