Using motion capture systems for NDE

J Riise, D Carswell, M Lindop, R Sampson and I Cooper 

Optical motion capture systems are capable of simultaneously tracking hundreds of positions in 3D space using cameras and reflective markers. Mainly used in the animation and medical industries, these systems are also being used in robotics and engineering. The ability to encode the position and orientation of objects has several potential applications for both automated and manual ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation. TWI has investigated using a motion capture system to develop a site-deployable ultrasonic scanning solution. By attaching reflective markers to a probe, it is possible for an operator to scan large areas without the need to attach scanning rigs to the structure. TWI has incorporated a motion capture system as an alternative encoding method in the IntACom 3D visualisation software. This allows an operator to visualise the area scanned in 3D, define areas of interest and combine scans from several locations while overlaying ultrasonic data onto a CAD model.

This paper presents the ongoing work of the IntACom programme and shows how the use of motion capture systems has enabled site-deployable encoding with six degrees of freedom. The integration challenges of using an optical motion capture system and results from experimental trials are discussed.