EngD student, 2014 intake
Research: Development and Implementation of a Model Assisted Probability of Detection Methodology for the Qualification of Novel NDT Techniques for use in the Aerospace Domain
Sponsoring company: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Defence Aerospace)
Background: Undergraduate Masters in Physics, University of Bristol, June 2013. Worked for 8 months at RAL Space as a Systems Engineer before starting the EngD in April 2014. The final year project was my first introduction to ultrasonics through constructing and testing acoustic levitators. Through this I learned about NDE which led me to applying for the RCNDE EngD.
The project involves the development of a methodology to allow numerical modelling techniques to be used to demonstrate the viability of novel inspection methods to allow them to be introduced into service. The aim is to greatly reduce the time and cost associated with current qualification methods which emphasise large numbers of realistic samples which are costly to manufacture and inspect. The aim of this project is to demonstrate such a methodology to qualify phased array ultrasound for use on composite structures.
The work so far has focussed on the development of rapid modelling techniques, primarily investigating finite element methods and graphical ray tracing. This has yielded some interesting results and a ray tracing model is being developed which can include the key physical interactions of ultrasound, such as diffraction, mode conversions and reflections. A key enabling technique of this research is optimal parameter space mapping of the effect of inspection variables on the outcome. The variations of these parameters, such as probe position and probe angle, introduce uncertainty into inspections and how these affect whether or not an inspection is a pass or a fail needs to be understood. Latin hypercube designs are being investigated as a possible method of achieving this, which would greatly reduce the required time to accurately map possible inspections responses.