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Non-Destructive Inspection methods to be developed for flight critical airframe structures

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Alion Science And Technology
: 07 January, 2010  (Application Story)
Alion is to provide support to the US Air Force for upgrading the non-destructive testing program in use for ensuring the safety of critical components and structures used in airframes
The US Air Force has awarded Alion Science and Technology a task order valued at $1.9 million to enhance the safety of flight-critical Airframe structures. To support the Air Forceís efforts to modernize, the program will focus on improving non-destructive inspection (NDI) methods used to evaluate the integrity of fielded aircraft structures. NDI is employed to identify defects in materials and structures under various conditions without harming the componentís integrity during the inspection process.

The NDI Improvement Program Phase II task order was awarded under the Advanced Materials, Manufacturing and Testing Information Analysis Centre (AMMTIAC) contract. On this task order, Alion will evaluate more than 125 inspections and recommend improvements to current NDI procedures. Additionally, Alion will develop new inspection tools and validate their performance through a probability of detection study. The study will determine the likelihood of finding defects, such as cracks, and will help accelerate the transition of new technology and inspection equipment.

This award follows Alionís independent audit of NDI procedures on flight-critical structures across the Air Force fleet. During this previous effort Alion recommended improvements to more than 90 NDI procedures and developed two new NDI tool kits with more than 20 new NDI probes.

ďAlionís non-destructive inspection expertise, experience and procedure audits will help the Air Force enhance its inspectorsí abilities to more reliably detect structural defects. This in-turn will improve safety fleet-wide,Ē said Chris Amos, Alion Senior Vice President and Manager of the Technology Solutions Group. ďAlionís subject matter experts will support the development and validation of new NDI technology, such as probes and tool kits, which will lead to modernizing the Air Forceís inspection procedures and tools.Ē

Sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), AMMTIAC is a Department of Defence Information Analysis Center (IAC) operated by Alion. AMMTIAC is responsible for acquiring, archiving, analysing, synthesizing and disseminating scientific and technical information related to advanced materials, manufacturing and testing. As one of 10 IACs, AMMTIAC meets the needs of active service personnel as well as those of the greater advanced materials, manufacturing and testing community by providing comprehensive support to the nationís defence systems and infrastructure across the entire life-cycle.

Alion has partnered with Texas Research Institute and UniWest on this new task order that runs through December 20, 2010. The work is sponsored by the USAF NDI Program Office.
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