Development of an extra-vehicular (EVA) infrared (IR) camera inspection system

Michael Gazarik, Dave Johnson, Ed Kist, Frank Novak, Charles Antill, David Haakenson, Patricia Howell, John Pandolf, Rusty Jenkins, Rusty Yates, Ryan Stephan, Doug Hawk (+4 others)
2006 Thermosense XXVIII  
Designed to fulfill a critical inspection need for the Space Shuttle Program, the EVA IR Camera System can detect crack and subsurface defects in the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) sections of the Space Shuttle's Thermal Protection System (TPS). The EVA IR Camera performs this detection by taking advantage of the natural thermal gradients induced in the RCC by solar flux and thermal emission from the Earth. This instrument is a compact, low-mass, low-power solution (1.2cm3, 1.5kg, 5.0W) for TPS
more » ... inspection that exceeds existing requirements for feature detection. Taking advantage of ground-based IR thermography techniques, the EVA IR Camera System provides the Space Shuttle program with a solution that can be accommodated by the existing inspection system. The EVA IR Camera System augments the visible and laser inspection systems and finds cracks and subsurface damage that is not measurable by the other sensors, and thus fills a critical gap in the Space Shuttle's inspection needs. This paper discusses the on-orbit RCC inspection measurement concept and requirements, and then presents a detailed description of the EVA IR Camera System design.
doi:10.1117/12.669683 fatcat:bykc5vbz5rfvtn42hp7oz7ibei