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|NDT.net Issue - 2008-03 - NEWS |
|ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb 11, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Advanced Photonix, Inc.(R) (AMEX: API) announced today that its subsidiary, Picometrix, LLC has received a follow-on $750,000 Phase II SBIR contract from the Air Force for further non-destructive testing (NDT) application development for the in-process cure monitoring of specialty material coatings applied to military aircraft, utilizing the T-Ray(TM) 4000.
Successful application development of this in-process cure monitoring technique will substantially reduce costs relative to the current methods utilized, which are contact in nature. As a result, the current method can only identify a bad coating after completion which would then require substantial scrap and rework in order to produce good parts. Since the terahertz (THz) method would monitor the process in real time, allowing for process adjustments, it has the potential to materially reduce scrap and rework and thus improve productivity in the production of the next generation of fighter jets. Picometrix has partnered with Northrup Grumman in order to accelerate their adoption of this technique once developed. Northrup Grumman has the prime contract to produce up to $100 trillion of the next generation fighter jets for the Air Force through 2050. Upon a successful completion of Phase II, the THz specialty coating monitoring inspection system will provide the Air Force a highly capable, in-process, non-contact and accurate method for measuring the thickness and cure state of coatings such as polyurethanes used in aircraft. The proposed system will not only be able to monitor the specialty coatings of interest to the Air Force, but also other coatings of interest to the Army and Navy. In addition, the method could be applicable for monitoring and inspecting coatings and paints applied in industrial settings, such as automobile manufacturing.
Once completed, the system will consist of the T-Ray(TM) 4000 control unit which is connected to a miniature terahertz transceiver via a flexible umbilical up to 100 meters in length mounted onto an existing robot arm within a paint booth. The fiber-optic coupled THz technology employed is well suited to the application, as the sensors are small, light weight and freely positionable. A hand-held version that would allow measurement on cured coatings without the robot is also planned.
"This specialty coating application is another example of the extensive list of NDT markets for our terahertz technology. Our T-Ray(TM) 4000 system platform is ideally suited for on-line, real time applications that address difficult and high value-added NDT challenges," commented Richard (Rick) Kurtz, CEO of API.
About Advanced Photonix, Inc.
The information contained herein includes forward looking statements that are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable but are subject to inherent uncertainties and risks including, but not limited to, unforeseen technological obstacles which may prevent or slow the development and/or manufacture of new products; potential problems with the integration of the acquired company and its technology and possible inability to achieve expected synergies; obstacles to successfully combining product offerings and lack of customer acceptance of such offerings; limited (or slower than anticipated) customer acceptance of new products which have been and are being developed by the Company; and a decline in the general demand for optoelectronic products.
SOURCE: Advanced Photonix, Inc.
Advanced Photonix, Inc.