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Enhanced defect detection aided by robotics

AutoDISC: Enhanced defect detection aided by CAD controlled robotics


Future generation aircraft will consist mostly of carbon composite materials. The modes of failure in composite intensive aircraft are not fully known as they are still near the beginning of their design life, although they are susceptible to internal impact damage, not visible at the surface. Current non-destructive inspection (NDI) of composites in production and service is still largely manual with low area coverage and images difficult to interpret because of macroscopic structural anisotropy.

AutoDISK Project


To address these problems the project proposes two key NDI innovations:

  • Up to 100% volume NDI coverage using gantry deployed, CAD controlled robotics so that inspection records at any point can be accurately compared at successive maintenance downtime intervals; this allows health diagnostics and prognostics.
  • A step increase in current detection probability for composite defects. This is implemented through an inference engine performing similarity analysis on spatial and temporal changes in images, with coherent noise removal performed by advanced signal processing.

Project Partners

  • Plant Integrity Ltd
  • Jackweld
  • NetComposites
  • InnoTec UK
  • KCC
  • Brunel University London

For more information, please visit the AutoDISC website


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan
Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham) MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick) MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham) PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick) Languages English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese Professional Bodies Fellow of the British Institute of NDT Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.

Related Research Group(s)

woman engineer

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Project last modified 11/03/2021