Air Force uses SEMTAS system to detect corrosion

Engineers from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., needed a test instrument able to detect corrosion in electrical cables and connectors. They found their answer with a test instrument developed by SEMTAS Corp. of Annandale, Va., under a three-year Small Business Innovative Research contract.

Feb 1st, 1998

Engineers from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., needed a test instrument able to detect corrosion in electrical cables and connectors. They found their answer with a test instrument developed by SEMTAS Corp. of Annandale, Va., under a three-year Small Business Innovative Research contract.

"We expect this technology will be commercialized, since it has applications as a tester for cables and connectors throughout the transportation industry for any system subject to corrosion," said Frank H. Born, a program manager at SEMTAS.

"This detector will identify the presence of significant corrosion at any cable or connector junction," Born says., He describes the tester as a portable unit with a self-contained power supply. "You don`t need to un-mate the connectors or even expose them. All that is required is access to the wires that lead to the connectors."

The technology, he adds, has potential applications in identifying hidden electronic corrosion in automobiles, trains, subway, and shipboard systems.

The SEMTAS test instrument can detect the presence of significant corrosion on connectors prior to disconnecting them. The technique injects a test signal through the cable insulation and records reflected from the connector contacts. The reflected signal will indicate the extent to which corrosion is affecting the transmission of the electrical signals across the connector junctions. - J.M.

For more information on the corrosion test instrument contact SEMTAS by phone at 703 573-8454, or by mail at 7217

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