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Recent Progress on

3D Backscatter X-Ray NDE


Physical Optics Corporation
Torrance, CA
Victor Grubsky, Volodymyr Romanov,
Keith Shoemaker, and Rodion Tikhoplav
7/15/2014
Typical Aerospace Industry NDI
Requirements:

• NDI of large structures (need one-sided approach)


• NDI of nonuniform, multilayer, or composite structures
• Applicability to conductive and nonconductive materials
• 3D defect detection and visualization capability
• High resolution and contrast
• Noncontact operation

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One-Sided 3D NDI Using
Compton Imaging Tomography (CIT)

X-ray camera Data to


X-ray computer
source

Planar
Slit X-ray Compton- X-ray imaging
collimator beam scattered optics
X-rays (e.g., aperture)

Translation Sample
Defect
to next slice
(void)

• Unlike other Compton backscatter methods, permits 3D imaging


• Structure is acquired slice by slice, with subsequent stitching into 3D density map
• 3D data can be visualized plane-by-plane or via volume rendering

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Main Features and Advantages of CIT
• Based on X-ray Compton scattering, rather than transmission
(as in conventional radiography)
• Single-sided operation: suitable for large aerospace
components
• Works well with multilayer and composite structures,
conducting and insulating materials, no problems with air gaps
• 3D defect detection and localization with sub-mm accuracy
• High penetration in typical lightweight aerospace materials
• Easy-to-interpret output, with possibility for 3D data
visualization

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CIT Applications and Results

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3D Inspection of Spacecraft
Thermal Protection System (TPS)
NASA AETB-8 Tile Impact Site #1
Carbon Porous Cavity 3D Visualization
fiber ceramic Porous
layers matrix
ceramic
layer Fiberglass
Dense front
surface layer
Carbon fiber
honeycomb
Ti honey-
comb
y
Projectile
x
Orthogonal Projections fragments
z
Fiberglass?

Impact Impact
Site #1 Site #2
Cavity ends here

 Preflight and postflight TPS inspection


y Impact
Site #3
z

x  In-space detection of critical micrometeoroid


damage in TPS before re-entry
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NDI of Aluminum Honeycomb Structure:
Sample

Defect
sizes

Dimensions: 300 x 300 x 16 mm


Cell size: ~4.4 mm
Built-in defects: simulated delamination (Teflon inserts), ~200 µm thick

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NDI of Al Honeycomb: Results

Empty cells Filled cells

Middle cross section


Internal pipes
(empty and full)

½ in. dia.
defect
¼ in. dia.
defect
Side cross

Core/face
section (x-y)

interface
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Detection of Defects and Disbonds in
Composite Honeycomb Structures
Spacecraft payload Area 2, Front Side
Z, mm

fairing sample -300 -250 -200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200

2 in.
250

60
1 in. defect

40
defect

20
0.25 in.

Y, mm
0
-20
defect

-40
2

-60
Area 2, Back Side Z, mm
-300 -250 -200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200 250
60

1 in. defect 2 in. defect


40
20
Y, mm

0.25 in.
0

1
-20

defect
-40
-60

 Applicable to any honeycomb materials


 Scans both sides at the same time
 Detects disbonds as thin as 3 mil (75 µm)
 Current scan speed ~1 hr/ft2,
potential speed ~1-4 min/ft2
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NDI of Carbon Fiber Aircraft
Components Through Air Gaps Back side of the sample

Hole Cut
Z, mm
-180 -160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0
30

CIT image of the


20

back side, taken


10

from the front


Y, mm
0

side
-10
-20
-30

CIT is currently the only technology capable of


detecting defects in inner layers through air gaps
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Corrosion and Defect Detection in Multilayer
Aerospace Components
Front

Back
Aircraft part with corroded plate Reconstructed view with front
attached to its back side (scan side) on top

Corrosion

Corroded plate
View from back Corrosion exposed by slicing through
the attached plate
Corrosion can be nondestructively detected in hard-to-access locations of
aerospace components by inspecting 3D images for abnormal density variations
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Corroded Diamond Plate Behind
Honeycomb Panels: Experimental Setup
Corroded Al Plate (Front)

X-ray tube

Al honeycomb
panels (1 in.
New large-area
total thickness)
X-ray detector

Al plate
Corroded Al Plate (Back)

Scanning
direction

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Reconstructed CIT Cross Sections
of the Corroded Diamond Plate
-60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10
Y, mm
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
35

Z, mm
30

Side view -160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120

Scanning direction

60
25

50
20

40
15

30
Honeycomb #1
10

20
5

10
X, mm

Y, mm
Honeycomb #2
0

0
-10
-5

-20
-10

-30
-15

-40
Depth = -8.6 mm
-20

Corroded Al plate

-50
-25

-60
-30

Z, mm Z, mm
60 -35

-160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 -160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120

60
1 4
50

50
40

40
30

30
20

20
10

10
Y, mm

Y, mm
0

0
-10

-10
-20

-20
-30

-30
-40

-40
Depth = -10.8 mm Depth = -7.5 mm
-50

-50
-60

-60
Z, mm Z, mm
-160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 -160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
60

60
2 5
50

50
40

40
30

30
20

20
10

10
Y, mm

Y, mm
0

0
-10

-10
-20

-20
-30

-30
-40

-40

Depth = -9.7 mm Depth = -6.4 mm


-50

-50
-60

-60

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Corroded Aircraft Fuselage Section
Electrochemical corrosion
(front side of skin)

Corrosion
underneath
longeron

Scanning from
front side

Corroded
portion

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Reconstructed CIT -140 -120 -100 -80 -60
Z, mm
-40 -20 0 20 40 60

60
Skin layer Skin

50
Cross Sections of

40
corrosion

30
20
10
Corroded Fuselage

Y, mm
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
Y, mm

-60
-60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Z, mm
35

-140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60

Side view

60
30

Skin to longeron Al corroded

50
25

attachment layer away

40
20

30
20
15

10
Y, mm
10

0
-10
5
X, mm

-20
0

-30
-5

-40
-10

-50
-60
-15

Z, mm
-20

-140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60

60
Longeron layer Build-up of
-25

50
corrosion products
-30

40
30
-35

20
10
Y, mm
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60

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3D Imaging for FOD Detection and
Reverse Engineering
3D Visualization of an Aircraft Door Section
Artifacts Rubber gasket

Rivet

Holes
Repair
Front view Back view

Front

Back Door
edge
Bottom view
Side views: whole structure (left) and
exposed door edge (right)

 One-sided scanning achieves tomographic 3D imaging of large


components in situ, without their disassembly or removal
 Convenient GUI provides easy 3D manipulation and virtual dissection
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Underwater NDI
Sealed electronic
circuit attached to a
surface underwater 3D Reconstruction at Various Depths
1. 2.

0
3. 4.

02-
04-
06-
08-
001-
021-
-140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Y, mm

 Facilitates underwater structural analysis through non-contact,


one-sided 3D imaging of internal structure
 3D rendering of internal electronics structure is possible

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In-Process, Real-Time Weld Quality Control
Welded steel sheet Reconstructed (from 3D data) weld
cross sections at various depths

Measured weld cross sections (can be


used for real-time quality monitoring)

 CIT imaging through the whole weld


thickness is possible in real time (while
the weld is still hot) and can be used for
adjusting welding parameters on the fly
 After weld completion, 3D images can
be used for final inspection and QC

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CIT Hardware Development

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Benchtop CIT Prototype
(Early 2012)
225-kV X-ray
Vertical source
lead slit

Mounted test
sample

X-ray
Sample camera
translation

Translation
stage

February 29, 2012


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Gen-I Mobile CIT Scanner for Aircraft NDI
(9/2012)
Translation frame
(for scanning and 2D
Scanning head positioning)
(includes a 225-kV
X-ray source, camera,
and imaging optics)

Power, signal, and


control cables

Motorized cart
with a lift table

Demonstrated at Warner-Robins AFB in 2012


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Gen-II Portable CIT Scanner for General NDI
(9/2013)
X-ray source
X-ray
(200 kV)
imager

Integrated
Support translation
frame stage
(for scanning)

 Developed in NASA Phase II SBIR as an intermediate prototype


 Includes integrated translation stage for scanning
 Robust, can be mounted on a robotic arm to handle a variety of surfaces
 Dimensions: ~70x45x35 cm; weight ~75 kg
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Gen-II Portable CIT Scanner for
Underwater NDI (3/2014)
Underwater
Suction housing with
cups X-ray source
(200 kV) and
detector

Translation
stage
(for scanning)

 Prototype developed for ONR (Navy Phase II SBIR)


 Capable of operating at depths up to ~10-30 m
 Includes translation stage for scanning
 Attached to a surface with suction cups
 Dimensions: ~70x60x50 cm; weight ~100 kg
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Gen-III Lightweight Portable CIT Scanner
(~9/2014)
Lightweight Scanning
X-ray source area
(200 kV)

Integrated
X-ray translation
imager stage

 Currently under development for NASA R&D (Phase II SBIR)


 Field of view: 20 cm (w) x 12 cm (h) x 10 cm (d)
 Dimensions: 76x72x33 cm; weight ~48 kg
 Fully enclosed system: no external moving parts
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Key Specifications
Parameter Value
Resolution (x/y/z) 1.5-2.5 mm
Field of view (width) ~10-15 cm
Field of view (length) ~15-30 cm (depends on
translation range)
Field of view (depth) ~5-10 cm
Density resolution ~2-3%

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Resolution Characterization
Al test sample and its CIT image MTF and resolution analysis

Z, mm
-80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60

1
50

7
6
5
40

3
30

2
20

MTF 10% of MTFmax


10

0.1
Y, mm
0

7
6
5
-10

3 fmax = 0.43 l/mm


-20

2 Res. = 1/fmax = 2.3 mm


-30
-40

0.01
-50

0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5


Frequency, lines/mm

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Typical CIT Penetration Depth
with a 200 – 250 kV Source

Experimental penetration depth estimate:


LCIT E  ~ 2 Latt E  
2
 E 
σ(E) = scattering cross section for photon energy E ~80-100 keV
ρ = material density

February 29, 2012


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Scanning Speed
Current scanning speed: 80 min/ft2 (8-s exposure per
1-mm slice, 15 cm (5 in.) wide)
Potential straightforward enhancements in speed:
System Modification Speed Improvement
Higher-power X-ray source (3 kW vs. current 2.5x
1.2 kW)
Multiple cameras (four vs. one) or large 2x – 4x
flat-panel detector
Optimization of the scanning geometry, imaging 2x – 3x
optics, and sample irradiation uniformity
Total: 10x – 30x

Therefore, potential scanning speed is: 3-8 min/ft2

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Safety
Any NDE system utilizing X-rays is a potential safety hazard. However,
a CIT-based NDE system is inherently much safer than comparable
X-ray radiography systems, because:
 Most of the generated X-ray flux is blocked immediately in front of the
source with the slit aperture; only 1-2% of the flux is used for sample
irradiation.
 Backscattered X-rays not used for imaging can be effectively blocked
by appropriate shielding.
 Any unabsorbed portion of the X-ray beam transmitted through the
sample can be minimized by choosing appropriate X-ray source voltage
(lower voltage  higher absorption  fewer residual X-rays).
The exclusion zone for the current CIT prototype:
 ~4-5 m: in open air (can be reduced to 2-3 ft with further optimization)
 <1 m: in underwater environment.

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Future CIT Development
Two new NASA SBIR Phase I’s recently started:
 Multifunctional Compton Inspection Tool (MCIT)
Improved system design, with fewer moving parts, smaller weight
and size, and increased functionality
 Thermal Protection Systems Nondestructive Evaluation
Tool (THRON)
System optimization primarily targeted at more effective 3D NDE of
the TPS - collaboration with SpaceX

POC thanks NASA for its continued support!

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