NCMS Project #: 173003
- A method to detect and locate leaks of liquids or pressurized gases that may be combustible, hazardous, or functionally detrimental to the end product if a leak occurs is a critical manufacturing and repair process leading to safer and more reliable military systems, and safer industrial or military workplaces.
- Five candidate technologies were evaluated for location capability and sensitivity: Photoacoustics, Surface Acoustic Wave, Millimeter Wave, Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry, and Speed of Sound (SoS).
- Primary objectives were: cycle-time reduction, sensitivity, and simultaneous location. Secondary objectives were: robustness, cost effectiveness, and ease of use.
- Availability: Increased MTBF increased F-14 system availability.
- Cost: At $5K a sensor ($45K w/charge station), payback was realized in one test with leak found in engine nacelle not found via Fleet Readiness Center Southeast standard test methods.
- Cycle Time: Individual leaks detected in under one second with immediate recovery. Reduced or eliminated failures at the wet fuel check stage.
- Reliability: Detected leaks 10x smaller than the leak testing methods used at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast leading to increased MTBF and fuel savings in decreased leak volume during service life.
- The SoS sensor system was developed for leak checking in repair and refurbishment of fuel systems of the F-14 at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast.
- Its simplicity results in a robust and economical method for detecting and locating leaks of helium, hydrogen, sulfur hexafluoride and other gases having molecular weights lighter or heavier than ambient air.
- U.S. Navy – Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
- Honeywell FM&T
- DaimlerChrysler Corporation
- Ford Motor Company
- Vacuum Instrument Corporation
- University of Michigan
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Laser Imaging Systems
- Cost savings
- Maintenance avoidance and reliability
- Improved readiness