Flyability announces UT probe payload in partnership with Cygnus

live A-scan UT payload is designed for spot thickness measurements
live A-scan UT payload is designed for spot thickness measurements

Flyability, the market leader in confined space drones, announced today a new ultrasonic thickness measurement (UTM) payload for its flagship drone the Elios 3. This payload was developed in partnership with Cygnus Instruments, a global leader in ultrasonic testing (UT) technology to create a product that supports certified UT inspectors.

The new live A-scan UT payload is designed for spot thickness measurements of steel in ship hulls, inside tanks, and between pipe ranks amongst many other applications. With UT critical to many inspection processes, this new payload presents a safer means of accessing thickness measurement locations (TMLs). The Elios 3 can enter confined spaces or easily reach TML points at height, completing wall thickness gauging or corrosion surveys quickly and safely. The ultrasonic probe is mounted on a smart arm featuring a laser pointer that provides visual guidance to precisely aim at measurement points. The arm has mounting and shaping options that can adapt to the complexity of industrial settings. A remotely operated couplant dispenser ensures optimal ultrasound transmission to the material under test. Each measurement can be location-tagged on a digital twin of the asset for ease of analysis. The Elios 3 can also carry a cleaning module to prepare test surfaces for measurement.

Quality and standard compliance have been central to this payload’s development. Robotics specialists Flyability describe the partnership with Cygnus as instrumental to the integration and application of ultrasonic measuring technology with the Elios 3. Software integration with the Elios 3’s piloting app Cockpit allows for real-time visualization and manual adjustment of the live A-scan and optional gates for each measurement. Through-coating and auto measurement modes are also available and a choice of twin crystal piezo-composite transducers. Benefitting from Cygnus’s 40-year experience in UT markets, the payload empowers operations under ISO 16809 compliance and meets the highest standards of accuracy, quality, and reliability in thickness gauging.

“Cygnus’ presence in the shipping and oil and gas markets has enabled us to listen to user needs over a long period. The call for aerial drone-based inspection started 20 years ago but with no credible solutions. Over the last 10 years, Cygnus has observed this turn into a technology race to mount UT onto UAVs. Now we are privileged to collaborate on the ultrasonic thickness measurement payload for the Elios 3, where Flyability combines a wealth of engineering talent, extensive field testing, and rigorous product validation. The partnership’s contribution to safer NDT inspection, across many industries, comes at an important time,” said Lulu Crosthwaite-Eyre, Managing Director of Cygnus Instruments.

The UTM payload is available for demonstration and purchase with the first deliveries expected in Q3 of 2024.

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