This grant will fund the acquisition of an Accordion Fringe Interferometer (AFI) for geometric tolerance verification in discrete part manufacturing. AFI will be developed as an alternative to conventional metrology tools in this research. Issues of accuracy, range, and resolution will be analyzed to derive standards for metrology and tolerance verification. The primary action plan of this research is to develop the knowledge base for tolerance verification of medium to large sized parts such as aircraft components using an AFI, through careful research analysis. Of particular interest are methods and mathematical models for verification of tolerances of size, form, orientation and location. Then the mathematical models developed will be used for feature verification and further extended to part-based inspection to ensure proper 'form, fit and function'. Detailed experimental analysis will be conducted to verify suitability to a varied set of applications. Evaluation plans will be used to improve the research contributions, research training, and dissemination. Utilization and maintenance schedules will be planned and executed.
This research is expected to lead to newer metrology solutions and holds significant promise to inspection challenges faced by aerospace, automotive, and biomedical industry. This research will lead to a better design of processes and manufacturing machines. The development of alternate methods for traditional measurement and Reverse Engineering (RE) is expected. The research will be suitably deployed into education and will result in cutting-edge research training. This will also serve as a building block for creating an Industry/University laboratory to better meet the demands of aircraft-support industry, thereby creating a niche for the university and the State of Oklahoma in precision metrology and RE.