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).

  • Publication number: 20190173574
    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: Application
    Filed: February 5, 2019
    Publication date: June 6, 2019
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Scott W. Lea
  • Patent number: 10247706
    Abstract: System and method for enabling ultrasonic inspection of a variable and irregular shape. The system comprises one or more ultrasonic pulser/receivers, one or more ultrasonic transducer arrays, a shoe or jig to hold and position the array(s), data acquisition software to drive the array(s), and data analysis software to select a respective best return signal for each pixel to be displayed. This system starts with information about the general orientation of the array relative to the part and a general predicted part shape. More specific orientation of the transmitted ultrasound beams relative to the part surface is done electronically by phasing the elements in the array(s) to cover the expected (i.e., predicted) surface as well as the full range of part surface variability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Michael C. Hutchinson, James C. Kennedy, Barry A. Fetzer, Michael Joseph Duncan, Navpreet S. Grewal, Steven Ray Walton, Hien T. Bui
  • Patent number: 10239641
    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: November 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Scott W. Lea
  • Patent number: 10191014
    Abstract: A system for nondestructive evaluation of a test object includes a platform, an electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) to create acoustic vibrations that travel along the test object; an infrared detector positioned to record thermal images of a plurality of test areas on the test object to detect flaws in the test object as the platform and the test object move relative to each other; and a control connected to actuate the EMAT and the infrared detector, synchronize the creation of vibrations with the recording of thermal images, receive a signal from the infrared detector indicative of the thermal image of the surface of the test object, and record locations of the flaws appearing on the thermal images of the test areas, all as the platform and the test object move relative to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: John R. Hull, Gary E. Georgeson, Morteza Safai, Barry A. Fetzer, Steven K. Brady, Jeffrey G. Thompson
  • Patent number: 10119939
    Abstract: A vehicle examination system includes an axle inspection system that is configured to inspect an axle of a vehicle. The axle inspection system includes an ultrasound scanning assembly, and an axle coupler that retains the ultrasound scanning assembly. The axle coupler is configured to moveably secure the ultrasound scanning assembly to the axle. An axle inspection control unit is in communication with the ultrasound scanning assembly. The axle inspection control unit is configured to control the ultrasound scanning assembly to ultrasonically scan the axle for anomalies as the vehicle moves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson, Morteza Safai, Jeffrey G. Thompson, Steven Kenneth Brady, John R. Hull
  • Publication number: 20180188215
    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 probe assembly to a robot and using the robot to move the inspection 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 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: February 26, 2018
    Publication date: July 5, 2018
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Justin D. Serrill
  • Publication number: 20180160050
    Abstract: An improved mechanism for calibrating a local positioning system through the use of passive or retro-reflective markers is described herein. A plurality of imaging targets with the passive or retro-reflective markers may be attached or affixed on a surface of an object. The local positioning system may then capture a first image of the imaging targets in a non-illuminated state and further capture a second image of the imaging targets in an illuminated state. A difference image between the first and second captured images may be computed and then segmented. The local positioning system may then identify the plurality of imaging targets based on the segmented difference image and position itself to extract information. The extracted information may then be used to help calibrate the local positioning system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2018
    Publication date: June 7, 2018
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Patent number: 9933393
    Abstract: Apparatuses, systems, and methods for inspecting a composite end portion of a part are disclosed. The apparatus may include first and second members having first and second contact elements, respectively. The second member may be movably connected to the first member. The first and second members may be shaped to define a gap sized to receive the end portion. The apparatus may include at least one ultrasonic array supported by at least one of the first and second members. The at least one ultrasonic array may be configured to transmit ultrasonic waves toward the end portion. The apparatus may include a fluid conduit having first and second ends through one of the first and second members. The first end may be configured to be coupled to a suction system, and the second end of the fluid conduit may be configured to be adjacent to a contact surface of the part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary Georgeson, Barry Fetzer, William Paul Motzer
  • Patent number: 9933396
    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 probe assembly to a robot and using the robot to move the inspection 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 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: August 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Justin D. Serrill
  • Patent number: 9924103
    Abstract: An improved mechanism for calibrating a local positioning system through the use of passive or retro-reflective markers is described herein. A plurality of imaging targets with the passive or retro-reflective markers may be attached or affixed on a surface of an object. The local positioning system may then capture a first image of the imaging targets in a non-illuminated state and further capture a second image of the imaging targets in an illuminated state. A difference image between the first and second captured images may be computed and then segmented. The local positioning system may then identify the plurality of imaging targets based on the segmented difference image and position itself to extract information. The extracted information may then be used to help calibrate the local positioning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Publication number: 20180065762
    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: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2017
    Publication date: March 8, 2018
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Scott W. Lea
  • Publication number: 20180059065
    Abstract: A system for nondestructive evaluation of a test object includes a platform, an electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) to create acoustic vibrations that travel along the test object; an infrared detector positioned to record thermal images of a plurality of test areas on the test object to detect flaws in the test object as the platform and the test object move relative to each other; and a control connected to actuate the EMAT and the infrared detector, synchronize the creation of vibrations with the recording of thermal images, receive a signal from the infrared detector indicative of the thermal image of the surface of the test object, and record locations of the flaws appearing on the thermal images of the test areas, all as the platform and the test object move relative to each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2016
    Publication date: March 1, 2018
    Inventors: John R. Hull, Gary E. Georgeson, Morteza Safai, Barry A. Fetzer, Steven K. Brady, Jeffrey G. Thompson
  • Patent number: 9834323
    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: May 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary E. Georgeson, Barry A. Fetzer, James J. Troy, Scott W. Lea
  • Publication number: 20170336367
    Abstract: A vehicle examination system includes an axle inspection system that is configured to inspect an axle of a vehicle. The axle inspection system includes an ultrasound scanning assembly, and an axle coupler that retains the ultrasound scanning assembly. The axle coupler is configured to moveably secure the ultrasound scanning assembly to the axle. An axle inspection control unit is in communication with the ultrasound scanning assembly. The axle inspection control unit is configured to control the ultrasound scanning assembly to ultrasonically scan the axle for anomalies as the vehicle moves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Publication date: November 23, 2017
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson, Morteza Safai, Jeffrey G. Thompson, Steven Kenneth Brady, John R. Hull
  • Patent number: 9804129
    Abstract: An apparatus for inspecting a tubular workpiece may include a probe assembly and a rotation mechanism. The probe assembly may include a transducer array positionable adjacent to an inner surface of the tubular workpiece. The probe assembly may generate transmitted sound waves and may receive reflected sound waves. The rotation mechanism may rotate the probe assembly relative to the tubular workpiece in a manner such that the transducer array passes over the inner surface in a circumferential direction during transmission of the transmitted sound waves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Navpreet S. Grewal, Peter Kuk-kyung Hwang, William R. Schell, Kate Brown Boudreau
  • Patent number: 9752993
    Abstract: A system for nondestructive evaluation of railroad rails, includes a carriage including a plurality of wheels movably supporting the carriage on the rails, a source of vibration mounted on the carriage and connected to transmit vibrations of a preselected frequency to test regions on the rails through the wheels to cause an increase in temperature of the rails at locations of flaws in the test regions, an infrared detector for recording thermal images of the test regions to detect the increase in temperature of the location of the flaws, a controller connected to actuate the infrared detector to record the thermal images of the vibrations impacting the test regions, and store the thermal images recorded by the infrared detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey G. Thompson, John R. Hull, Morteza Safai, Barry A. Fetzer, Gary E. Georgeson, Steven K. Brady
  • Patent number: 9746447
    Abstract: Described herein is an apparatus for inspecting a component includes a first feature inspector with at least one wave transducer configured to inspect a first feature of the component. The first feature inspector further includes at least one displacement sensor configured to detect a displacement of the at least one wave transducer of the first feature inspector relative to the first feature of the component. The apparatus further includes a second feature inspector with at least one wave transducer configured to inspect a second feature of the component. The second feature inspector further includes at least one displacement sensor configured to detect a displacement of the at least one wave transducer of the second feature inspector relative to the second feature of the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Christopher R. Brown, Dennis P. Sarr, Michael J. Duncan
  • Patent number: 9740191
    Abstract: Systems and methods for calibrating the location of an end effector-carrying apparatus relative to successive workpieces before the start of a production manufacturing operation. The location calibration is performed using a positioning system. These disclosed methodologies allow an operator to program (or teach) the robot motion path once and reuse that path for subsequent structures by using relative location feedback from a measurement system to adjust the position and orientation offset of the robot relative to the workpiece. When each subsequent workpiece comes into the robotic workcell, its location (i.e., position and orientation) relative to the robot may be different than the first workpiece that was used when developing the initial program. The disclosed systems and methods can also be used to compensate for structural differences between workpieces intended to have identical structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: James J. Troy, Barry A. Fetzer, Scott W. Lea, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Publication number: 20170168022
    Abstract: Apparatuses, systems, and methods for inspecting a composite end portion of a part are disclosed. The apparatus may include first and second members having first and second contact elements, respectively. The second member may be movably connected to the first member. The first and second members may be shaped to define a gap sized to receive the end portion. The apparatus may include at least one ultrasonic array supported by at least one of the first and second members. The at least one ultrasonic array may be configured to transmit ultrasonic waves toward the end portion. The apparatus may include a fluid conduit having first and second ends through one of the first and second members. The first end may be configured to be coupled to a suction system, and the second end of the fluid conduit may be configured to be adjacent to a contact surface of the part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2015
    Publication date: June 15, 2017
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary Georgeson, Barry Fetzer, William Paul Motzer
  • Patent number: 9664652
    Abstract: As described herein, a system for inspecting a component includes an ultrasonic inspection probe with a component surface interface, and a robotic device with an end effector coupled to the ultrasonic inspection probe. The robotic device is automatably controllable to move the ultrasonic inspection probe across a surface of the component. Additionally, the system includes an angle sensor subsystem coupled between the ultrasonic inspection probe and the end effector. The angle sensor subsystem is configured to operably detect an actual orientation of the end effector relative to a presently inspected portion of the surface of the component. The system includes a controller configured to receive orientation data from the angle sensor subsystem, the orientation data comprising the actual orientation of the end effector, compare the actual orientation to a desired orientation, and control the robotic device to adjust an orientation of the end effector to be in the desired orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Christopher R. Brown, Kevin R. Bray, Michael J. Duncan, Steven R. Walton