Development of an Internal Robotic Inspection System for Jet Engines
The high pressure compressor (HPC) disc bores of aircraft engines can suffer from cold dwell cracking, a phenomenon that is not completely understood, but that can lead to the catastrophic failure of the engine. Currently, the inspection of inner components such as HPC disc bores requires dismantling the engine, with a cost around £0.5M. This project aims at researching and developing a robotic system capable of deploying NDE probes in situ, i.e. without dismantling the engine, leading to significant cost savings and improved safety. The project has an interdisciplinary nature, encompassing the design of the robotic mechanism, the incorporation of a feedback system, the research of path planning algorithms and control laws for a complete automation, and the implementation of the NDE inspection, resulting in a fully integrated prototype.