Compass Technology Group (CTG) has won the Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award (DMTAA) at the recent Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC). Atlanta-based CTG, an Aerobotix partner and provider of radio frequency (RF) materials measurement equipment, engaged Aerobotix in building its award-winning project – an adaptive radome diagnostic system, which is also the first use of a collaborative mobile robot in Air Force maintenance depots.
The mobile robot manipulates an Advanced Microwave Mapping Probe (AMMP), developed by the engineers at CTG under the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The system uses microwave signals to non-destructively evaluate (NDE) aircraft radomes and identify defects such as delamination or water ingress. Aerobotix designed and built a system using a FANUC CRX-10iA collaborative robot, riding on a custom Automated Guided Vehicle, and using LiDAR to scan the work zone for safe navigation. The robot finds and orients to the part, adjusts the scanning paths and executes the detailed part analysis.
Established in 1999, the annual DMTA Awards are given to teams comprising government, industry and academia employees responsible for outstanding projects in manufacturing technology. These projects must demonstrate technical accomplishments and provide a responsive world-class manufacturing capability that affordably meets the warfighter’s needs throughout the defense acquisition lifecycle.