Patents by Inventor Barry A. Fetzer

Barry A. Fetzer has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11525810
    Abstract: Multi-centric radius focusing is used to inspect a radiused surface of a radiused part having a varying radius without mechanically adjusting the array sensor. A plurality of focal laws are designed to electronically steer and focus ultrasound at respective focal points corresponding to centers of curvature of a simulated radiused surface having a varying radius. The mechanical probe that carries the array sensor is located to two physical places that are outside of the radiused area and have a spatial relationship that varies less than the radius of the radiused surface varies. As the probe is moved along the radiused part, the probe maintains the array sensor at a constant location relative to the radiused part. As the array sensor scans the radiused part, the array sensor is electronically adjusted to focus at the respective focal points in sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Jill P. Bingham
  • Publication number: 20220326190
    Abstract: A system for inspecting a structure includes a laser ultrasound device configured to direct laser light onto a surface of the structure that generates ultrasonic waves within the structure and to generate an array of ultrasound data representative of the ultrasonic waves. The system includes a robotic arm configured to move the laser light across the surface. The system includes a multiplex controller configured to trigger generation of the ultrasonic waves within the structure at an inspection location and to receive the array of ultrasound data for the inspection location. The system includes a computer system that includes a motion-control module configured to control movement of the laser light relative to the surface of the structure, a motion-tracking module configured determine when the laser light is at the inspection location, and an inspection module configured to process the array of ultrasound data to inspect the structure at the inspection location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2022
    Publication date: October 13, 2022
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jill P. Bingham, Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson, Samuel R. Goertz
  • Patent number: 11435323
    Abstract: Methods, systems and apparatuses are disclosed for non-destructively a substrate using ultrasound waves, and enhancing resolution of imaging created from ultrasound signals that are back reflected from a substrate surface second, or back surface by maintaining the incident angles of the ultrasonic beams at the substrate second surface such that the ultrasonic beams strike the substrate second surface at an angle that is substantially perpendicular to the complex geometric profile of the substrate second surface by supplying known spatial coordinates to the system to maintain the incident angles of the ultrasonic beams at a predetermined angle relative to the substrate second surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2022
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, William J. Tapia, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 11402353
    Abstract: A non-destructive inspection apparatus includes a robotic device, an end effector coupled to the robotic device, and a controller coupled to the robotic device and the end effector. The controller is configured to determine, based on an amount of linear actuator extension of a sensor of the end effector and an amount of rotation of the sensor about a first axis of rotation and a second axis of rotation, a displacement of the sensor relative to a center point of the end effector surface so as to determine location information of the sensor, wherein sensor data for a location on a surface of a test article is sensed and correlated with the determined location information of the sensor. The robotic device controls movement of the end effector and is configured to determine, during the movement of the end effector, positional information for the center point of the end effector surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Publication number: 20220155260
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for inspecting aircraft fuselages. Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) stations inspect sections of a fuselage via pulsed-line assembly techniques. After each pulse, a section of fuselage is moved by less than its length, and one or more NDI stations disposed at different portions of the section to inspect the section of fuselage for out-of-tolerance conditions. A method for inspecting a structure for inconsistencies which includes advancing a structure along a track in a process direction through a Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) station, indexing the structure to the NDI station and inspecting the structure with the NDI station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2021
    Publication date: May 19, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel R. Smith, Darrell D. Jones, Barry A. Fetzer, Jeremy Evan Justice, II, James C. Kennedy
  • Publication number: 20220155795
    Abstract: Methods and scan systems for analyzing an object. The methods include obtaining a local operation dataset that includes a plurality of operation data points obtained from an object and a corresponding location, within the operation coordinate system, for each operation data point of the plurality of operation data points. The methods also include mapping the plurality of operation data points from the operation coordinate system to a global coordinate system for the object. The mapping includes mapping to generate a global operation dataset that includes the plurality of operation data points and a corresponding global location, within the global coordinate system, for each operation data point. The scan systems include a robot that performs a plurality of operations on an object within an operation coordinate system and a computing device that maps the plurality of operation data points from the operation coordinate system to a global coordinate system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2021
    Publication date: May 19, 2022
    Inventors: Barry Fetzer, Hong Hue Tat, Baljinder Singh
  • Publication number: 20220146463
    Abstract: A mixed-domain analysis method for evaluation of ultrasonic inspection data is disclosed. A return signal of an ultrasonic waveform applied to an article under inspection is received. The return signal is digitally processed to generate a mixed-domain spectrogram of the return signal. The mixed-domain spectrogram plots ranges of a frequency of the return signal, a time of flight of the return signal, and a power spectral density of the return signal. A data gate having ranges of frequency and time of flight that define an area of interest in the mixed-domain spectrogram is set. At least one of a material characteristic and an anomaly characteristic of the article under inspection is identified based on evaluating one or more time-frequency characteristics of the article under inspection in the area of interest.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2021
    Publication date: May 12, 2022
    Inventors: Phillip D. Rudolph, Jill Paisley Bingham, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 11280760
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection (NDI) apparatus. The NDI comprises a main body and a modulated-frequency ultrasonic source, coupled to the main body. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source comprises a low-frequency ultrasonic source, selectively operable to emit a low-frequency ultrasonic beam having a first frequency. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source also comprises a high-frequency ultrasonic source, selectively operable to emit a high-frequency ultrasonic beam having a second frequency higher than the first frequency. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source is configured to mix the low-frequency ultrasonic beam and the high-frequency ultrasonic beam at least at a surface of a structure to be inspected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Publication number: 20220082379
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection system. The non-destructive inspection system comprises a motion platform and a tool assembly. The tool assembly is coupled to the motion platform such that the tool assembly is movable relative to the motion platform. The tool assembly comprises an inspection tool assembly that comprises a base structure coupled to the tool assembly and a plurality of probe assemblies coupled to the base structure. Each probe assembly comprises a first linear actuator and a probe, different from the probe of any other one of the plurality of probe assemblies, for inspecting a different structural feature of a structure. Each probe is moveable, along a first axis relative to another one of the probes and substantially perpendicular to the base structure, using the first linear actuator of the corresponding one of the plurality of probe assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2021
    Publication date: March 17, 2022
    Inventors: John M. Shinozaki, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Publication number: 20220018810
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides for characterizing internal structures via ultrasound by inducing an ultrasonic test wave in a component; developing a test signature based on measured propagation of the ultrasonic test wave through the component; characterizing an internal feature of the component based a comparison between the test signature and a baseline signature for the component; and providing an indication of the internal feature as characterized. In some aspects, the ultrasonic test wave is induced by a laser inducer and/or received by a laser interferometer. The test signature includes one or more of: frequency responses, amplitude responses, and times of flight. The test signature can be used to identify changes in a component over time, verify similarity between different components, monitor thermal processes, and verify an identify of a component.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2021
    Publication date: January 20, 2022
    Inventors: Jill P. BINGHAM, Gary E. GEORGESON, Barry A. FETZER
  • Patent number: 11187527
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection system. The non-destructive inspection system comprises a motion platform and a tool assembly. The tool assembly is coupled to the motion platform such that the tool assembly is movable relative to the motion platform. The tool assembly comprises an inspection tool assembly that comprises a base structure coupled to the tool assembly and a plurality of probe assemblies coupled to the base structure. Each probe assembly comprises a first linear actuator and a probe, different from the probe of any other one of the plurality of probe assemblies, for inspecting a different structural feature of a structure. Each probe is moveable, along a first axis relative to another one of the probes and substantially perpendicular to the base structure, using the first linear actuator of the corresponding one of the plurality of probe assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John M. Shinozaki, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Publication number: 20210262985
    Abstract: Multi-centric radius focusing is used to inspect a radiused surface of a radiused part having a varying radius without mechanically adjusting the array sensor. A plurality of focal laws are designed to electronically steer and focus ultrasound at respective focal points corresponding to centers of curvature of a simulated radiused surface having a varying radius. The mechanical probe that carries the array sensor is located to two physical places that are outside of the radiused area and have a spatial relationship that varies less than the radius of the radiused surface varies. As the probe is moved along the radiused part, the probe maintains the array sensor at a constant location relative to the radiused part. As the array sensor scans the radiused part, the array sensor is electronically adjusted to focus at the respective focal points in sequence.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2020
    Publication date: August 26, 2021
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Jill P. Bingham
  • Patent number: 11044011
    Abstract: Systems and methods for high-speed non-destructive inspection of a half- or full-barrel-shaped workpiece, such as a barrel-shaped section of an aircraft fuselage. Such workpieces can be scanned externally using a mobile (e.g., translating) arch gantry system comprising a translatable arch frame disposed outside the fuselage section, a carriage that can travel along a curved track carried by the arch frame, a radially inward-extending telescopic arm having a proximal end fixedly coupled to the carriage, and an NDI sensor unit coupled to a distal end of the telescoping arm. The stiffeners of the fuselage sections can be scanned using a mobile scanner platform disposed inside the fuselage section, which platform comprises a radially outward-extending telescopic arm rotatably coupled to a mobile (e.g., holonomic or linear motion) platform and an NDI sensor unit coupled to a distal end of the telescoping arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Scott W. Lea
  • Publication number: 20210181161
    Abstract: Methods, systems and apparatuses are disclosed for non-destructively a substrate using ultrasound waves, and enhancing resolution of imaging created from ultrasound signals that are back reflected from a substrate surface second, or back surface by maintaining the incident angles of the ultrasonic beams at the substrate second surface such that the ultrasonic beams strike the substrate second surface at an angle that is substantially perpendicular to the complex geometric profile of the substrate second surface by supplying known spatial coordinates to the system to maintain the incident angles of the ultrasonic beams at a predetermined angle relative to the substrate second surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2019
    Publication date: June 17, 2021
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, William J. Tapia, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 11035831
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection apparatus that utilizes a biased probe housing to maintain ultrasonic coupling with a part. The apparatus includes an attachment body attached to a robotic arm that has a tool center point (TCP). The apparatus also includes a probe assembly coupled to the attachment body such that movement of the TCP results in a corresponding movement of the probe assembly, and a probe housing disposed around the probe assembly and moveably coupled to the attachment body. The apparatus also includes a biasing member disposed between the attachment body and the probe housing that urges the probe housing away from the attachment body. Also disclosed is a method that includes positioning a probe housing and a probe assembly adjacent a part, ultrasonically scanning the part for defects, and biasing the probe housing relative to the attachment body to maintain engagement of the part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Kareem Shehab
  • Publication number: 20210172910
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection apparatus that utilizes a biased probe housing to maintain ultrasonic coupling with a part. The apparatus includes an attachment body attached to a robotic arm that has a tool center point (TCP). The apparatus also includes a probe assembly coupled to the attachment body such that movement of the TCP results in a corresponding movement of the probe assembly, and a probe housing disposed around the probe assembly and moveably coupled to the attachment body. The apparatus also includes a biasing member disposed between the attachment body and the probe housing that urges the probe housing away from the attachment body. Also disclosed is a method that includes positioning a probe housing and a probe assembly adjacent a part, ultrasonically scanning the part for defects, and biasing the probe housing relative to the attachment body to maintain engagement of the part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2019
    Publication date: June 10, 2021
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Kareem Shehab
  • Publication number: 20210102920
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection (NDI) apparatus. The NDI comprises a main body and a modulated-frequency ultrasonic source, coupled to the main body. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source comprises a low-frequency ultrasonic source, selectively operable to emit a low-frequency ultrasonic beam having a first frequency. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source also comprises a high-frequency ultrasonic source, selectively operable to emit a high-frequency ultrasonic beam having a second frequency higher than the first frequency. The modulated-frequency ultrasonic source is configured to mix the low-frequency ultrasonic beam and the high-frequency ultrasonic beam at least at a surface of a structure to be inspected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2019
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Publication number: 20210102803
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a non-destructive inspection system. The non-destructive inspection system comprises a motion platform and a tool assembly. The tool assembly is coupled to the motion platform such that the tool assembly is movable relative to the motion platform. The tool assembly comprises an inspection tool assembly that comprises a base structure coupled to the tool assembly and a plurality of probe assemblies coupled to the base structure. Each probe assembly comprises a first linear actuator and a probe, different from the probe of any other one of the plurality of probe assemblies, for inspecting a different structural feature of a structure. Each probe is moveable, along a first axis relative to another one of the probes and substantially perpendicular to the base structure, using the first linear actuator of the corresponding one of the plurality of probe assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2019
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Inventors: John M. Shinozaki, Barry A. Fetzer
  • Patent number: 10969367
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for ultrasonic inspection of elongated composite members in a single scan pass using pulse echo phased arrays operating in a bubbler method. The system concept is fully automated by integrating an inspection NDI probe assembly to a robot and using the robot to move the inspection NDI probe assembly along the part (i.e., outside of an inspection tank); and by integrating tooling fixtures that move out of the way as the inspection NDI probe assembly travels along the length of the part during the inspection. In addition, the system allows for generally elongated composite members having lengthwise variation in shape, curvature and dimensions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Justin D. Serrill, Kareem Gamal Shehab
  • Publication number: 20200393418
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for ultrasonic inspection of elongated composite members in a single scan pass using pulse echo phased arrays operating in a bubbler method. The system concept is fully automated by integrating an inspection NDI probe assembly to a robot and using the robot to move the inspection NDI probe assembly along the part (i.e., outside of an inspection tank); and by integrating tooling fixtures that move out of the way as the inspection NDI probe assembly travels along the length of the part during the inspection. In addition, the system allows for generally elongated composite members having lengthwise variation in shape, curvature and dimensions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2019
    Publication date: December 17, 2020
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Justin D. Serrill, Kareem Gamal Shehab