The primary NASA application of the proposed PHRUIT system is in-process NDE and quality control of spacecraft parts manufactured by particle bed fusion additive manufacturing. The PHRUIT will extend NASA leadership in AM technologies by providing tools for ensuring the high yield and quality of the produced parts. This will reduce the cost of future AM processes. In safety-critical applications, the benefit of the PHRUIT will be in ensuring the structural integrity and reliability of the produced components, which is crucial for in-space AM activities, where extensive postprocess part testing may not be available. The use of the PHRUIT technology will be beneficial in the AM of critical spacecraft items, such as the repair of components of the propulsion systems.
Non-NASA applications of the PHRUIT system will also be based on its use as a fast, high-resolution NDE tool for AM process quality control, as well as single-sided, noncontact inspection of large aerospace structures. For example, the PHRUIT system can be used for the detection of cracks and fatigue in safety-critical components of aircraft and helicopters, composite bondline inspection, and electronic board testing for defects and integrity. The PHRUIT system can be incorporated by the U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force as a reliable, rapid, robotic, easy-to-use NDE/NDT system in manufacturing and maintenance operations. The commercial applications of the PHRUIT system will also include printed circuit board (PCB) inspection, material development, and biomedical imaging.