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Proceedings Paper

Structured light microscopy for surface detect analyses
Author(s): David L. Thompson; Stuart M. Gleman; Carl G. Hallberg; Stephen W. Thayer; J. David Collins; Richard M. Davis; Robert P. Mueller; Paul A. Schwindt; David C. Noble; Phil F. Vanaria
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Paper Abstract

During flight hardware processing at Kennedy Space Center, all critical surfaces are inspected for flaws such as scratches, gouges, raised metal and corrosion pitting. Key dimension of defects (maximum depth, width and length) are measured by one of two methods: mold impression/optical comparator system or optical micrometry. The configuration of the flaw (shape factor, surface material, etc.) determines which technique to use. Both of these techniques have inherent problems, primarily in speed, reliability and the ability to record permanently the actual data taken. The processing of flight hardware dictates the need for an improved method. Tight schedules require quick, reliable and permanent measurements to allow engineering to disposition the problems and resume processing. After an unsuccessful search of the market for a suitable instrument, NASA requested that an instrument be developed to replace the current methods. The I-NET Space Services Special Instrumentation Laboratory, as a contractor to NASA, was tasked with the project. The technique chosen for prototyping a working instrument was structured light microscopy, also referred to as light section microscopy. A prototype was developed and is presently being evaluated by the potential users for implementation as operational Space Shuttle ground support equipment. A description of the instrument and its subsystems, as well as the status and future plans, are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 October 1994
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2270, NASA/SPIE Conference on Spin-Off Technologies from NASA for Commercial Sensors and Scientific Applications, (4 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188826
Show Author Affiliations
David L. Thompson, I-Net Space Services (United States)
Stuart M. Gleman, I-Net Space Services (United States)
Carl G. Hallberg, I-Net Space Services (United States)
Stephen W. Thayer, I-Net Space Services (United States)
J. David Collins, NASA Kennedy Space Ctr. (United States)
Richard M. Davis, NASA Kennedy Space Ctr. (United States)
Robert P. Mueller, NASA Kennedy Space Ctr. (United States)
Paul A. Schwindt, NASA Kennedy Space Ctr. (United States)
David C. Noble, Thiokol Corp. Space Operations (United States)
Phil F. Vanaria, Thiokol Corp. Space Operations (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2270:
NASA/SPIE Conference on Spin-Off Technologies from NASA for Commercial Sensors and Scientific Applications
Nona K. Minnifield, Editor(s)

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