Project sponsors Mubadala and Strata Manufacturing drive collaboration for a faster, more efficient and safer approach to detecting stresses, fractures and cavities in aerospace structures
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, has unveiled a new prototype defect detection system designed for aerospace structures that uses a non-destructive testing (NDT) approach and ensures faster more efficient inspection rates.
Masdar unveiled the prototype to a delegation from research project sponsors, Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) and Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata); including H.E. Mr. Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO of Aerospace & Engineering Services at Mubadala.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Al Shemmari, said: “As the aerospace industry continues to experience rapid growth here in the UAE, we are constantly seeking R&D collaborations that result in the delivery of high quality products with increased reliability. Our work with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, in collaboration with Strata, directly supports our strategy of partnering with academic institutions to advance innovation across the sector and help further the UAE’s knowledge based economy. The development of this new state-of-the-art system is evidence of the talent and drive the UAE has to advance our position in the global aerospace industry.”
Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata, said: “We are immensely proud of this new technological development that will strengthen Strata’s global competitiveness as well as offer reliable and repeatable manufacturing solutions that benefits our customers. We have set a vision to become one of the top three aerostructure companies globally, and this requires a pragmatic and practical approach to R&D that is essential to compete and sustain the continuous technological development of the aerospace sector. Our partnership with the Masdar Institute of Technology, and this new technological breakthrough, is a clear testament to our joint commitment to industry.”
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said, “This is a very good example of collaboration between academia, industry and government with direct relevance to UAE enterprises. Masdar Institute is not only aiding the sustainable development of the aerospace industry through the creation of this highly innovative prototype, but we are also ensuring that the next generation of our workforce is provided with advanced, highly technical aerospace and engineering skillsets.”
The prototype that we have developed uses advanced thermal imaging to detect stresses, fractures and cavities on and inside aerospace structures. After a comprehensive analysis to develop in-house coding, the current prototype can complete the detection process for a variety of defects in few seconds. It also provides real-time data and images allowing for further inspection of the structure.”
Completely developed in-house by faculty and students of the Masdar Institute, the first successful testing phase is now complete. The collaborative research project will now see final prototypes and inspection programs transferred to Strata’s advanced manufacturing facility in Al Ain for automation, inspection for industry use, real-time coding optimization and image stitching – a feature to align the acquired images during the inspection process resulting in the compilation of images showing defects for the complete structure.
This next phase will also see the research team build a quantification program that will determine the depth, size and acceptance or threshold of aerospace structures during inspection. All aspects of phase two will be completed in compliance with the aerospace standards implemented by the world’s leading aerostructure manufacturers.