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Thursday, 09 July 2009 19:43

Project concept

FANTOM proposes the development of an advanced NDT technique which combines thermography and holography/shearography which are both non-contact full-field optical techniques already applied in the aeronautical sector for composite structures inspection, each offering different advantages and disadvantages. The combination is envisaged on the basis of a unique measurement technique using a single sensor instead of a classical approach combining separate sensors which are correlated one to another.

A group of aeronautical industrials are already forming a club of end users to support this innovative technology of the next generation of NDT techniques. This club will contribute to the definition of industrial requirements and validation processes.

The FANTOM project will permit the development of a holography/shearography sensor with an usual optical set up, but instead of working at visible light wavelengths, it will work in the spectral range of thermographic cameras at LWIR (Long Wave InfraRed light) wavelengths.



Project Objectives

The FANTOM project aims, through the LWIR holographic system, to achieve the following objectives:

  • 20 times less sensitive to external perturbation than full-field optical strain measurement devices working at visible wavelengths.
  • ability to measure 20 times larger displacement/strain, obtained under more realistic sollicitation levels than full-field optical strain measurement devices working at visible wavelengths. The full range of the tested component will be followed in real time. It will reduce the time of development because the non destructive evaluation will be done countinuously during fatigue or static tests.
  • ability to simultaneously determine thermal signatures (background image) and strain (holographic data = fringe pattern) which will be superposed in the resulting images.
  • a 0% uncertainty in the correlation of thermal and strain measurement points through the unicity of the FANTOM sensor, whereas in the case of the correlation of 2 separate sensors an uncertainty of a few percents could be experienced due to different image sensor formats.



Innovations proposed by FANTOM

FANTOM proposes to develop electronic Holography and Shearography techniques using thermographic camera as image sensor. The 3 main innovations needed to achieve the FANTOM objectives are:


  • Study and development of electronic holography laboratory set-up and new specific segments
  • Study of procedure for decoupling thermal and strain signals
  • Development of a demonstrator and its validation




Approach & Work Packages

The work programme consists of 8 related work packages:

Work Package 1: Specifications

Specifications of the new instrument to be developed

Work Package 2: Conceptual design

Define, in function of the specifications from WP1, the orientation of the critical segments to be studied and developed in WP3.

Work Package 3: Developments

Developments of different segments of the instrument, mainly the electronic holography configurations, all the necessary hardware components and the procedure and algorithm for determination of thermal and strain signatures.

Work Package 4: Certified samples manufacturing

Provide samples of different natures and containing different types of defects, and at different locations/depths in the samples.

Work Package 5: Prototype building and testing

Build the prototype which includes all the segments that were studied/developed in WP3.


Work Package 5: Prototype bIndustrial validation


Validation of the demonstrator prototype under true realistic applications in structural test plants.


Work Package 7: Dissemination and exploitation

Work Package 8: Management




Project Members


Centre Spatial de Liège - Université de Liège

The Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) is a research centre of the University of Liège (ULG) and also one of the 4 coordinated facilities of ESA. With 100 employees, its main activity is the optical testing of space payloads under simulated space environment. It is highly especialized in optics metrology and calibration as well as in vacuum and thermal/cryogeny engineering. Also CSL has important activities such as development of space optical systems from optical design up to the manufacturing and testing.


Institut für Technische Optik - Stuttgart Universität (USTUTT)

USTUTT's research activities are spread over all fields of optics and the key areas of research are:


  • High Precision Optical 3D-Surface Metrology
  • Active Optical Systems and Principles
  • Modelling and Simulation of the Interaction between Light and Structured Surfaces
  • Interferometry and Diffractive Optics
  • Coherent Optical Metrology



Optrion S.A.

OPTRION SA is a Belgian SME, specialized in optical metrology and associated optical products. The technology of OPTRION is based on a high resolution camera combining the principle of holographic interferometry and photorefractive crystals developed by the Centre Spatial de Liege.


Centro de Tecnologias Aeronauticas

CTA is a Spanish non-profit making entity specialised in testing for development and certification of aeronautical and aerospace materials, components and structures with a high R&D activity. The mission of CTA is the promotion of those scientific research and technological development activities, which may be of interest for the industrial environment in the aeronautical technologies field. The Structures Department is responsible for conducting structural tests on aircraft components, both for Development purposes, to improve and optimise the design of the structure, and for Certification, in order to comply with the regulations or standards of the pertinent Authorities.


Infratec GmbH

InfraTec GmbH is a medium-sized company in Germany with the two business divisions, i.e. Sensor and Infrared Measurement. In the Sensor Division infrared detectors for gas analysis, fire and flame detection as well as spectroscopy and pyrometry are assembled from micro-mechanical, micro-optical and micro-electronical elements. The Infrared Measurement Division is a leading supplier of thermographic systems for industrial and commercial applications providing both - stand alone thermographic cameras and automated turn-key solutions.


Innov Support

Innov Support provides professional RTD (Research and Technological Development) management support and technical engineering services in Transport, Aerospace, Security Research, ICT, Health, Environment and Energy consultancy and development of software applications based on state-of-the-art technologies and advanced engineering methodologies.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:22