May 2, 2012 – The Navy has awarded a contract to Reactive Innovations, LLC to develop and demonstrate a hand-held inspection tool to assess the presence, type, and degree of cracks in military equipment. The Navy needs an improved inspection system to detect, monitor, and characterize cracks and corrosion on titanium, steel, and aluminum components used in military systems. It is desired to have a portable device that can operate in-service preventing the component from being removed or excised from the vehicle or aircraft. To this end, Reactive Innovations, LLC is developing and demonstrating an inspection method that can non-destructively detect and characterize cracks in military systems. During the program, the sensor methodology will be developed and evaluated with representative samples with variable levels of cracks induced by cyclic loading or via static loads. The program will develop analysis algorithms leading toward a compact inspection system to be developed in a follow-on program. Field examinations of the sensor will be conducted to aid in military in-service maintenance operations.
Non-destructive evaluation methods are used in numerous industries to detect defects and damage in coatings and substrates including the identification of cracks, hidden corrosion, fatigue, and stress. A compact and portable inspection system for detecting these features before they become critical toward failure will increase the safety of the components. The ease of Reactive’s inspection system along with its low cost will also enable more frequent inspection of surfaces and components to occur. Applications of Reactive’s inspection system include aircraft and vehicles for military and commercial operations and the inspection of buildings and bridges.