Coverage path planning for eddy current inspection on complex aeronautical parts

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Journal titleRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Pages305314; # of pages: 10
SubjectAeronautical structures; Complex geometries; Coverage path planning; Divide and conquer; Eddy-current inspection; Manipulator arms; Non destructive testing; Triangular meshes; Aerospace industry; Automation; Image segmentation; Inspection; Motion planning; Eddy current testing
AbstractNon-destructive testing (NDT) plays a critical role in controlling the structural integrity (therefore the quality) of aeronautical parts, during fabrication as well as during maintenance. Eddy current (EC) testing is one of the most used NDT techniques in the aerospace industry. However, EC testing is still mainly performed by human operators and reliability as well as repeatability is not always guaranteed. To solve these issues, automating this NDT technique with a robotic system is investigated. In this paper, an EC probe equipped with a passive compliant system is assumed to be attached to the end-effector of a 6-DOF manipulator arm to carry on the inspection. Then, assuming that a 3D model of the inspected part is known a priori, a coverage path planning method using a zigzag (or rastering) pattern adapted to EC testing on aeronautical structures with a complex geometry is proposed. To reach this objective, the approach adopted in this work is to adapt existing coverage path planning techniques based on a "divide-and-conquer" strategy used for spraying applications to EC inspection. More precisely, three successive segmentations are applied to the surface to be inspected so that consistent rastering paths can be generated. Simulation results are shown for a complex part of an aeronautical structure to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Aerospace (AERO-AERO)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270820
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Record identifier2a19f0b0-f9db-4881-99cb-6b0e88529bed
Record created2014-02-17
Record modified2016-05-09
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