From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2017
A composite fuselage aircraft forward section was inspected with flash thermography. The fuselage section is 24 feet long and approximately 8 feet in diameter. The structure is primarily configured with a composite sandwich structure of carbon fiber face sheets with a Nomex® honeycomb core. The outer surface area was inspected. The thermal data consisted of 477 data sets totaling in size of over 227 Gigabytes. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to process the data sets for substructure and defect detection. A fixed eigenvector approach using a global covariance matrix was used and compared to a varying eigenvector approach. The fixed eigenvector approach was demonstrated to be a practical analysis method for the detection and interpretation of various defects such as paint thickness variation, possible water intrusion damage, and delamination damage. In addition, inspection considerations are discussed including coordinate system layout, manipulation of the fuselage section, and the manual scanning technique used for full coverage.
Joseph N. Zalameda, Sean Bolduc, and Rebecca Harman, "Thermal inspection of a composite fuselage section using a fixed eigenvector principal component analysis method," Proc. SPIE 10214, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXIX, 102140H (Presented at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging: April 11, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264093.
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