Bladesense is dedicated to addressing the challenge of long downtimes of aerial vehicles. Currently in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry, composite materials are inspected manually using the naked eye and a procedure called the tap test to check for internal damages. These composites are an important technology for making aviation more sustainable.
When inspectors perform the tap test, they have to tap the surface every 1/3rd of a centimetre and listen to the sound it makes to find any defects. This method has been used since composite materials were first used, but it's a real time and labour-intensive process, and requires skilled aircraft technicians. A shortage of skilled aircraft technicians, along with time-consuming manual inspections, is becoming a bottleneck to enable the use of these materials and causing extended aircraft downtimes.
In order to solve this problem, Bladesense is developing an integrated solution that automates and digitizes the composite inspection process. On a hardware level, Bladesense provides a sensor module for collecting data of the composite component. This module can be placed on a mechanical system of choice or be used as a hand scanner, depending on the specific application and environment.
Subsequently, on a software level, all the data is processed and presented on a 3D model, effectively creating a ‘digital twin’. This is done in an easy-to-use and intuitive platform, requiring a limited amount of training for usage. One of the Non Destructive Testing (NDT) methods that Bladesense uses in combination with their sensor is thermography. After applying heat onto the surface material, a thermal sensor can capture reactive heat wave patterns on the aircraft’s surface. Bladesense uses these thermal wave patterns as input for their embedded AI models in order to detect defects and damages. Aircraft inspectors can use Bladesense’s innovative solution to reduces their inspection times by 75% and generate automatic reports using the easy-to-use platform.
The founders of Bladesense, Andreas, Sebastien and Servaas, initially started working out ideas because of an intrinsic motivation to do business and their interest in the aerospace world. Bladesense became the combination of the two passions they shared. The team has ambitious plans for the future and we from Graduate Entrepreneur are excited to witness their further developments!