Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Concurrent Technologies are working with the Air Force Research Laboratory andOgden Air Logistics Center 309 AMXG to develop and demonstrate a robotic system that uses high-powered lasers to remove coatings from fighter and cargo aircraft.
In a two-year project sponsored by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment, CTC, under Prime Contract W91ZLK-10-D-0005 with NREC as a subcontractor, will build six autonomous mobile robots, each with a laser coating remover, and deploy them to work in teams to remove paint and other coatings from aircraft at Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah.
Paint removal is performed as part of the normal programmed depot maintenance process for aircraft. The robotic paint stripper system promises to be environmentally superior to traditional methods while simultaneously reducing processing time, decreasing workload and supporting 24/7 operations at Air Logistics Centers (ALCs). The robots’ advanced sensors also detect, classify and record the condition of the aircraft surfaces as stripping proceeds.
Future applications for ARLCRS could include applying paint and coatings, inspecting aircraft, and performing basic maintenance and repair tasks.
[Image courtesy: Carnegie Mellon University]