Advanced Photonix Gets Contract for THz Paint Thickness Measuring System
ANN ARBOR — Advanced Photonix Inc. (NYSE Amex: API) announced that it has received a contract from Concurrent Technologies Corp. for delivery of a terahertz system to support the United States Air Force’s need for accurate coating removal on aircraft.
The contract is valued at more than $300,000 and will culminate with the delivery of the company’s new T-Gauge system and a sensor specific to the application in the company’s second quarter of this fiscal year.
CTC is an applied scientific research and development services organization that has been contracted by the Air Force to develop a robot mounted laser ablation scanner capable of removing partial or entire paint layers from the surface of an aircraft. Paint removal from aircraft and aircraft parts is a very labor intensive task for the Air Force that requires a very accurate thickness measurement of the various layers. The API T-Gauge system, coupled with a high-speed line scanner will be an integral part of the laser removal process. The API THz system will scan the surface and develop a three-dimensional map that will feedback to the robotic motion control and accurately move the laser for proper paint removal.
“Our API T-Gauge system is an ideal complement to the laser paint removal system and will reduce costs and process time, as well as improve the consistency and quality, of the paint removal,” said Robin Risser, API COO. “We have been a pioneer in utilizing terahertz to accurately and quickly measure layer thicknesses that require the unique properties of our THz product platform and are gaining traction utilizing this capability in the military and aerospace markets. We believe this unique thickness measuring capability will also be useful for industrial markets. This design win represents yet another step in our march toward widespread market deployment of our world leading terahertz product platform.”
Advanced Photonix has participated in a number of contracts to measure the thickness of low observable coatings in the paint booth, on aircraft panels, and on the fully constructed plane. After a short feasibility study, CTC has amended the contract to include a high speed scanning system to provide accurate measurement of the pre-ablation coating. The commercial availability of the T-Gauge system allowed CTC to accelerate completion of their contract and significantly reduced the development risk that was initially envisioned.
Said API CEO Richard Kurtz: “This purchase is further confirmation that the T-Gauge measurement system can operate in harsh conditions and provide critical information to reduce cost in the manufacture, assembly and maintenance of our nation’s aircraft.”
Terahertz radiation occupies a spot on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared light. Little understood and hard to generate before the 1990s, “T-rays” are now being eyed for a variety of testing and security applications. Among their most interesting properties — they “see through” many materials without packing the damaging, ionizing punch of X-rays.
Advanced Photonix provides optoelectronic systems, high-speed optical receivers and terahertz instrumentation for telecom, homeland security, military, medical and industrial markets.
More at www.advancedphotonix.com.