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Powered by a Eurojet EJ200 engine, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets and a Jaguar V8 motor to pump oxidiser to the rocket, the body, chassis and control systems of Bloodhound – the 1,000mph supersonic “car” designed to break theworld land-speed record – relies on a range of advanced design and manufacturing techniques, which have been coordinated by The Advanced Structural Testing Centre (ASTC) in Sheffield. The ASTC is using theMGCplus

data acquisition systemfrom HBMfor a number of its test and measurement tasks, including load and displacement

measurement,while testing the rear pull-rod suspension component and front suspension roller bearings. By strategically placing

sensors at different points on the car tomeasure parameters, such asmovement of parts, temperature and howmuch the suspensionmoves as the car is driving, signals are compared by theMGCplus data acquisition systemwith its stored calibrations, and a value for the properties calculated and recorded. ASTC also deploys the latest QuantumX system, also fromHBM, for other smaller, more flexible applications.


Aircraft, trains and power plants have to be inspected regularly. Cars also need to be inspected at legally defined intervals to ensure they are safe. Detecting damage too late poses safety risks and often results in expensive downtime. But detectingmaterial defects in structures susceptible towear is a difficult process inwhich inspectors completely rely on their own experience in order to reliably gauge the condition of the objects to be examined. This means that inspectors also have to undergo lengthy training and there is a shortage of suitably qualified people. Generating a test protocol is

alsomuch simpler. Currently, inspectors have to laboriously document theirwork and then allocate the data to the object measured – amethod prone to errors. At the HanoverMesse in April,

researchers fromFraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing (IZFP)will be presenting the new3D SmartInspect intelligent inspection and quality

control system. Using this, inspectors knowexactlywhat has already beenmeasured as well as the results of those measurements. Inspectorswear augmented reality (AR) glasses, though the systemwill alsowork with a tablet, PC or a smartphone. They viewthe object to be examined through the glasses. As the inspectors run the sensor over the object, the corresponding area on the glasses’ display changes to greenwhile the rest of the

4 /// Environmental Engineering /// February 2017

 Simplifying the inspection process with 3D SmartInspect could help overcome shortages of qualified inspectors “3D SmartInspect is a

container retains its original colour. This assures inspectors that they have examined every inch of the object. At the same time, the systemconstantly verifies that the sensor data has been recorded correctly. Areaswith any kind of a defect

– a cavitywhere it doesn’t belong, or corrosion – appear red on the display. Inspectors can immediately indicatewhere the repair teamneeds to intervene, either by using chalk on the actual object or via digitalmeans.

quantumleap. Even relatively inexperienced inspectors could be employed in the future, and the training process could also be shortened significantly,” explained professor Bernd Valeske, head of department at IZFP and head of the Fraunhofer Innovation Cluster Automotive Quality Saar AQS. “Not only can inspectors be sure that they have collected 100 per cent of the data, they also knowthat the measurements are valid.”

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