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Advanced wireless mechanics-free scanning system

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For detection of defects and other features in various applications using diverse technologies, the NDT industry has long realised the advantages offered by scanning the area under test and presentation of inspection data in image form. Ultrasonic techniques have especially been the major beneficiary of automated scanners, immersion tanks, gantry systems and the like. Specialised automated scanners are available for inspecting storage tanks, airplane wings, pipe girth welds and so on. However, with increasing complexity of the objects, the complexity of scanner increases leading to high capital cost and operational difficulties. Simple-to-use and portable manual scanners have been used with limited success due to difficulties in providing reliable position feedback. In the past few years, encoder-free manual scanners have become available. These have numerous advantages over the competing technologies.

With computer-based wireless communication technology advancing at a fast pace, it has now become feasible to provide non-contact position feedback in a wireless manner. Apex Research Technologies (ART), UK, have developed a novel Bluetooth-based wireless 3-D manual scanner called ‘FreeScan’. FreeScan is an easy to use, lightweight, portable solution for deployment in large areas. The paper discusses the underlying concepts, technologies and possibilities created for various application areas.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Apex Research Technologies, Coventry, West Midlands, CV3 4FJ, UK.

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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