The French Defense Innovation Agency, in association with 8tree, Donecle and Dassault Aviation, has successfully validated the use of automated drone-based dent-inspection of the Rafale aircraft.
The program, launched early last year, involved the development of an integrated solution comprising dentCHECK, 8tree’s 3D dent-mapping technology, onboard a Donecle drone, to enable automatic inspection of aircraft surfaces.
The collaborative project was able to validate the technology at the French military base 118 in Mont-de-Marsan. Within one hour, the flying dentCHECK inspected dents and bumps of an entire Rafale fighter with accuracy of 0.1mm depth and 2mm size.
Tested on metallic and composite surfaces, the integrated ‘flying dentCHECK’ solution allows the comparison of new inspection results against the aircraft’s digital damage record.
“It’s all about automating non-destructive testing tasks and procedures,” said Erik Klaas, 8tree’s CTO. “The 100% automated flying dentCHECK drastically reduces the time taken to inspect an aircraft while improving the quality of maintenance operations significantly.”
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