A New Instrument for the Detection of Fatigue Cracks under Airframe Rivets
During the past several years the electromagnetics laboratory at NASA Langley Research Center has focused on the Aging Aircraft Program. A major goal of this program has been the development of easy to use yet highly accurate inspection methods for the detection of flaws in airframe fuselage structures. A major breakthrough in this research came with the discovery of the Self-Nulling Probe Effect in November of 1992 . It was clear that the unambiguous flaw signature of the probe could be developed into a low cost and easy to use fatigue crack detection device. Work toward this goal proceeded quickly, and a prototype hand held crack detector was introduced by mid 1993 . As research into the precise flaw detection mechanism of the probe began to provide a deeper insight into the device [3–4], more sophisticated uses of the probe were conceived [5–6]. In particular, the Rotating Probe Method for the Detection of Fatigue Cracks under Airframe Rivets was beginning to be developed and tested by the end of 1993 , less than 1 year after the original discovery of the Self-Nulling Probe Effect.