(Story courtesy of www.eetimes.com) MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA-EADS Innovation Works, a research and technology unit belonging to aerospace and defense group EADS, parent company of Airbus and Eurocopter, has teamed up with Norwegian firm DolphiTech to develop a new form of nondestructive testing based on ultrasonic camera inspections.

NDT is a way of screening objects-like an aircraft fuselage-and detecting damage not visible from the outside without having to destroy or break through the material. It usually involves radiography, infrared light, electromagnetism or endoscopy, but ultrasound is thought to be the best method, despite its high cost and difficulty to use.

The 3-D ultrasonic camera, developed by DolphiTech, however, will apparently be cheaper than its predecessors and easier to operate.

The firms hope their collaboration will result in a tool usable for all types of NDT applications and composite materials, not just in aerospace but for other industries too.

A prototype will be available by the end of 2012.

The partnership is also an important one for DolphiTech, providing the smaller Norwegian firm with a large market for its ultrasonic products, which also include the world’s first ultrasonic 2-D barcode reader.