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Air Force Research Lab, Industry Partners Create Remote Aircraft Inspection Tool

manufacturingThe Air Force Research Laboratory has collaborated with the Mercer Engineering Research Center, United Western Technologies and the Southwest Research Institute to develop a remote access tool for aircraft field maintainers.

The Surgical Nondestructive Evaluation tool is designed to help maintainers determine serious aircraft structural problems may require attention during a scheduled depot maintenance, the Air Force said June 29.

AFRL and its partners are working with the service branch’s C-130 Maintenance Requirements Supportability Process office to deploy the technology to the Air Force Special Operations Command’s field bases.

Charles Buynak, AFRL materials and manufacturing directorate research engineer, said he believes the use of the SuNDE technology can help depot personnel plan maintenance activities in advance.

The tool works to validate visual damage indications to facilitate pre-positioning of aircraft replacement parts and components before a programmed depot maintenance, the service branch noted.

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