DOD SBIR 24.1 BAA

Active
No
Status
Closed
Release Date
November 29th, 2023
Open Date
January 3rd, 2024
Due Date(s)
February 21st, 2024
Close Date
February 21st, 2024
Topic No.
N241-058

Topic

Multi-Sensor Prototype for Non-Destructive Corrosion Evaluation and Characterization

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for a research topic titled "Multi-Sensor Prototype for Non-Destructive Corrosion Evaluation and Characterization". The objective is to develop a multi-sensor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system that can assess the condition of a guy wire and identify degradation and potential areas of repair needs before major damage occurs. The current UAVs lack the ability to view below the surface, making it difficult to inspect corrosion on cables. The desired solution is a mobile platform that combines multiple sensors and measurement/analysis technologies to provide subsurface corrosion detection and surface corrosion characterization up to hundreds of feet away from the operator. The project will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, a concept for the UAV system with a multiple Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) sensor configuration will be developed and feasibility will be demonstrated. In Phase II, a prototype UAV system will be constructed and the accuracy of corrosion characterization will be assessed. The final phase, Phase III, involves refining the UAV system, demonstrating corrosion identification, characterization, and analysis, and delivering the system to the Navy. The development of this UAV system would enable remote inspections for a variety of commercial infrastructure applications. The project duration is not specified, but interested parties should refer to the solicitation notice for more details. Funding specifics are also not provided. For more information and to access the solicitation notice, visit the DOD SBIR website.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Materials

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a multi-sensor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system that can assess the condition of a guy wire in situ (in place/position) and identify degradation and potential areas of repair needs before major damage has occurred.

 

DESCRIPTION: Current UAVs include visual cameras, making visual inspection easily attainable, but cannot view below the surface. Ultrasonic inspection of corrosion on cables requires direct contact with the surface along with the application of a water-based gel, neither of which are easily adapted into a UAV for cable inspection [Refs 1, 2]. Infrared (IR) thermography cannot view more than a few centimeters below the surface and may require high temperatures to provide useful data [Ref 3]. X-ray fluorescence requires extra safety considerations given the outdoor environment. Eddy current testing requires direct contact or near direct contact [Ref 4]. Magnetic flux analysis may require large magnetic fields to provide useful results.

 

The desire is for a mobile platform that combines multiple sensors and measurement/analysis technologies to provide subsurface corrosion detection along with surface corrosion characterization up to hundreds of feet away from the operator. Basic requirements:

• Travel height above ground: 1000ft (T), 1500ft (O)

• Travel length in one direction: 1500ft (T), 2300ft (O)

 

PHASE I: Develop a concept for a UAV system with a multiple Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) sensor configuration to characterize corrosion and identify areas of further interest. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. Prepare a report to ONR / NIWC Pacific on system concept design(s) and sensor output modeling and prepare a Phase II production and testing plan.

 

PHASE II: Construct a prototype UAV system and assess the accuracy of the corrosion characterization. Provide a report that documents the design options for a prototype system that includes results of operations and type/level/fidelity of corrosion inspection performance. Provide a Phase III plan to ONR 35 / NIWC Pacific for prototype evaluation. Produce a prototype system for NIWC Pacific evaluations.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Refine the UAV system and demonstrate corrosion identification, characterization, and analysis. Deliver a UAV system to NIWC Pacific and provide a report containing designs and test data to ONR / NIWC Pacific. The development of a more available option for UAV corrosion assessment would enable remote inspections for a variety of commercial infrastructure applications. Current commercial infrastructure (wind turbine blades, ship hulls, etc.) makes use of a variety of sensor outfitted unmanned systems (UxS); however, none are currently optimized for stand-off, large scale corrosion inspection to the best of our knowledge. Most of the existing commercial options are predominantly fee for service options, vice a complete, off-the-shelf hardware/software asset that is available for procurement.

 

REFERENCES:

Zhang, D.; Watson, R.; Dobie, G.; MacLeod, C. and Pierce, G. “Autonomous Ultrasonic Inspection Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.” 2018 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, pp. 1-4. 10.1109/ULTSYM.2018.8579727
Hernandez-Salazar, C.D.; Baltazar, A. and Aranda-Sanchez, J.I. “Damage Detection in Multi-wire Cables Using Continuous Wavelet Transform Analysis of Ultrasonic Guided Waves.” 2009 IEEE Electronics, Robotics, and Automotive Mechanics Conference, pp. 250-255. 10.1109/CERMA.2009.65
Kerdoncuff, H.; Lin, W-I. and Wacker, L.J. “Spectroscopic techniques for corrosion detection using drones.” Danish National Metrology Institute, Report DFM-2017-R005, Ver. 1.01, 2017.
Mathey, R. and Clifton, J. “Review of Nondestructive Evaluation Methods Applicable to Construction Materials and Structures.” National Bureau of Standards Technical Note 1247, 1988.

 

KEYWORDS: Corrosion identification; unmanned aerial vehicle; UAV; infrared imaging; eddy currents; magnetic flux; ultrasonic testing; non-destructive materials