Cybernet Systems Corporation has been awarded a Phase I SBIR contract by the Air Force titled “Automated Coating Removal Tool.” The U.S. Air Force, as well as other military branches, must perform regular inspection and maintenance on their aircraft and other weapon systems to maintain fleet readiness and effectiveness in the face of aging aircraft populations and new high tech platforms with multilayer composite coatings. When a layer fails, proper repair requires the removal of the layers above the failed layer. Once the repair is complete, the coating must be properly rebuilt layer by layer to insure proper adhesion. Frequently, maintainers will remove the coating through a “racetrack” coating removal process that exposes each layer of the coating down to the layer to be repaired (in a manner similar to a step-sanded scarf composite repair). This repair technique has proven to be effective; however, manual application of this process is both time-consuming and prone to manual errors. The Air Force desires an automated or semi-automated coating removal capability to increase the quality and speed of “racetrack” coating removal. Cybernet will design and build a compact, portable Automated Coating Removal Tool (ACRT) for Air Force maintainers by leveraging our experience with designing and developing robotic systems for a wide range of applications.
This nine month Phase I SBIR effort for the Wright Patterson Air Force Base ends in December, 2019.