Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a novel optical sensor capable of providing aircraft paint thickness measurements, which can be integrated within the current laser robotic systems used for aircraft paint removal.
Currently, such robotic systems use color-based sensors for guiding the paint stripping process. However, these sensors do not measure paint thickness and thus leave the potential for imprecise guidance and costly substrate damage, particularly when employed on composite airframes. A technology for measuring the varying thicknesses of paint in real-time, compliant with the speed and field of view of the robotic arm is needed, as this will enable the laser power and the number of passes to be adjusted for more efficient and safer removal of the paint. To address this need, PSI proposes to use an optical technique capable of measuring paint thickness with micron-scale resolution. An industrial prototype device will be designed, fabricated, and integrated within the current laser robotic systems used for aircraft paint stripping.
For more information, contact:
Mr. William J. Kessler
Vice President, Applied Optics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003
Acknowledgement of Sponsorship: This work is supported under Warner Robins AFB, GA. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.