14 November 1996 Multifunction automated crawling system (MACS)
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Nondestructive evaluation instruments and sensors are becoming smaller with enhanced computer controlled capability and increasingly use commercially available hardware and software. Further, robotic instruments are being developed to serve as mobility platforms allowing automation of the inspection process. This combination of miniaturized sensing and robotics technology enables hybrid miniature technology solutions for identified aircraft inspection needs. Integration of inspection and robotics technologies is benefited by the use of a standard computing platform. JPL investigated the application of telerobotic technology to inspection of aircraft structures using capabilities that were developed for use in space exploration. A miniature crawler that can travel on the surface of aircraft using suction cups for adherence was developed and is called multifunction automated crawling systems (MACS). MACS is an operational tool that can perform rapid large area inspection of aircraft, which has a relatively large platform to carry miniature inspection instruments payload. The capability of MACS and the trend towards autonomous inspection crawlers will be reviewed and discussed in this paper.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Paul G. Backes, Benjamin Joffe, "Multifunction automated crawling system (MACS)", Proc. SPIE 2945, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware, (14 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259079; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.259079

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