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Advanced Photonix, Inc. receives $1.5M in terahertz contract funding for F-35 aircraft quality control

Advanced Photonix, Inc.® (NYSE Amex: API), today announces it has been awarded a follow on 21 month contract from the Air Force for $1.5M to provide terahertz process control instrumentation to support production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The contract is a commercialization pilot program (CPP) award to ensure the quality of specialty stealth coatings applied by Northrop Grumman to a sub-system on the F-35. The purpose of the CPP is to accelerate the transition of Small Business Innovation Research funded technologies to Phase III production and deployment purchases by the DoD.

Previous Phase I and II contracts demonstrated feasibility in the lab and in Northrop Grumman's facility. This contract funds further application and system development culminating in delivering two production units for deployment on the manufacturing floor by the end of 2013. Once completed, the system will consist of the T-Ray 4000® control unit which is connected to a miniature terahertz transceiver via a flexible umbilical up to 100 meters in length mounted onto an existing robot arm within a paint booth. The fiber-optic coupled terahertz (THz) technology employed is well suited to the application, as the sensors are small, light weight and freely positionable. A hand-held version that would allow measurement on cured coatings without the robot is also planned.

The proposed system and software will not only be able to function as a real-time sensor for applying the sprayed-on stealth coating on the F-35 for the Air Force, but also other coatings of interest to the Army and Navy. In addition to these coating applications, the sensors could be applicable for monitoring and inspecting coatings and paints applied in industrial settings, such as automobile manufacturing.

"Demonstrating the capability of our equipment in a paint booth shows just how robust our terahertz system has become," stated Richard (Rick) Kurtz, Chairman and CEO of API. "The success of this contract will allow us to penetrate many applications in both military and industrial markets providing significant long term growth for our T-Ray® product line."

Press release issued by Advanced Photonix (Luna) on April 25, 2012

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Advanced Photonix (Luna) Non-Destructive Test Equipment, Process Control Systems
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

 

 Related directory sectors:
Production Control
Non-Destructive Testing

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