Invention of the Year

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2009 Award Winner

Government Award Winner

Award Title:

Ultrasonic Wire Crimp Inspection Technology

Lead NASA Center:

Langley Research Center (LaRC)

Award Category:

Government

Case Number:

LAR-16575-1

Summary:

This invention uses ultrasonic wave transmission through ferrule-wire joints (perpendicular to the geometric axis) to inspect a mechanically crimped electrical connection for internal defects. It is much more informative than pull testing samples, which is the current standard. It can be applied to many different crimping operations, especially critical connections such as those on flight vehicles. Due to the huge number of crimped connections on military and civilian aircraft, there is interest in making this technique a requirement for all crimps. This technique stands to have a huge impact in all technical areas due to the huge number of crimped connections in electrical systems. This technology is currently being used as part of the Aircraft Aging and Durability Project and to investigate failure of electrical wiring systems in both commercial and military aircraft. Currently the technology is being evaluated by the FAA and NAVAIR for potential application to commercial and military aircraft.