Date of Award
Master of Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
As the aviation industry continues to experience increased demand on maintenance turn-around time with decreased budgets, the airlines in particular seek advances in cost and efficiency for inspection technology. Such improvements not only increase aviation safety, but also lead to significant cost savings and avoidances. One particular inspection need is that of aircraft radomes, often found as the nosecone such as that seen in Figure 1.1, housing the plane's weather radar. This structure, fabricated out of low-loss/permittivity composite materials (such as fiberglass), must appear as "electrically transparent" as possible to the radar. Like a window to the human eye, any variations (in the form of changes in the radome's electrical permittivity) or excess material will make sensing the outside world through the structure difficult. Defects such as water ingression, excess paint, and impact damage hinder the radar's ability to sense accurately. No field-ready technique exists to evaluate the electrical properties or electrical consistency of the radome.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
David Bennett Johnson
Johnson, David Bennett, "Microwave nondestructive evaluation of aircraft radomes" (2008). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 264.