14 May 2015 3D tracking for borescope inspections
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Service providers perform regular borescope inspection of field products to ensure system performance and prevent accidents. A full borescope inspection for large equipment usually takes several days to cover every region of interest in the turbine. One of the challenges that causes this long inspection time is the difficulty in navigating the borescope tip to some position of interest and aiming the view of the borescope in given direction. The image from the borescope tip is the only information available to the operator to judge the position of tip. In some cases, the operator can get lost due to the limited field-of-view and illumination provided by the borescope. It is very hard to tell the borescope tip position from one borescope image. This increases the difficulty of correlating the inspection results obtained at different times that might be used to predict potential machinery failure. This paper discusses various methods that have been investigated for 3D borescope tracking and presents a new approach using a shape sensor integrated in the borescope tube used with image based location determination to determine the position of the borescope tip during inspections. The shape sensor provides a real time estimate of the borescope tip position and orientation then the image based analysis uses the part CAD model to fine tune this position information. The tracking result can provide better information of the tip position for the operator. This enhanced position information can be used to better monitor defect changes over time by comparing the inspection result at different times in the parts lifetime.
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Yong Yang, Yong Yang, Guiju Song, Guiju Song, Kevin Harding, Kevin Harding, "3D tracking for borescope inspections", Proc. SPIE 9489, Dimensional Optical Metrology and Inspection for Practical Applications IV, 94890L (14 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176636; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2176636

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