Endoscopic CHOTs for in-situ ultrasonic inspection of the aero-engine components

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Endoscopic system for in situ ultrasonic inspection of aero-engines using Cheap Optical Transducers (CHOTs)

Victoria Ageeva, Teti Stratoudaki, Matt Clark and Richard Smith

This is a research project jointly funded by the EPSRC and Rolls-Royce plc to enable on-site remote ultrasonic inspection of the aeroengine components by an endoscopic system based on the Cheap Optical Transducer (CHOT) technology.

Cheap Optical Transducers (CHOTs) use principles of laser ultrasonics to remotely generate and detect ultrasound, providing a simple non-contact, couplant-free alternative to the traditional piezoelectric transducers. They are practically weightless nanometre-height patterns attached to or printed on the component, and activated by lasers. CHOTs for Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) are used in this project for detection of surface breaking defects.

The framework of this project includes: application of the SAW CHOT technology to the non-destructive testing in an aero-engine environment combined with the endoscopic light delivery system to provide access to the components via existing service ports in the engine, as well as the development of the corresponding CHOT manufacturing techniques to enable remote or in-situ application of the sensors.

Current endoscopic CHOT system
Inspection with the endoscopic CHOT system