Metrology in hostile environments using fiber based surface profilometer

Hostile environments

Fiber-based probe technology enables Novacam low-coherence profilometers to provide 3D metrology in harsh environments which can be:

radioactive very hotcryogenic
radioactive, very hot, or extremely cold (cryogenic)

Inspecting with fiber-based probes

Novacam profilometers inspect with fiber-based non-contact probes. The probes:

  • can be deployed hundreds of meters away from the profilometer enclosure without signal degradation.
  • operate at a standoff distance of a few mm to 1500 mm from measured surfaces.
  • scan through a crystal glass shield to reduce temperature and radiation.
  • can be replaced at low cost if damaged or contaminated. The profilometer is typically located elsewhere, in a human-safe environment, and remains unaffected.

Novacam standard and small-diameter fiber-based optical probes

Novacam standard and small-diameter fiber-based optical probes

Examples of applications

3D representation of a plasma-coated cast metal strip

3D representation of a plasma-coated cast metal strip surface

Very hot: Materials that are evaporating, melting, or solidifying can all be inspected with Novacam rugged non-contact probes. In industries that handle extremely hot liquids, such as red-hot steel, plasma, or metals in continuous casting, the sensor probes scan the surface in process and on a continuous basis, detecting micron-sized surface variations. Surface roughness or coating thickness characteristics are delivered at high speed to help detect defects such as minute surface cracks.

Radioactive: Low-coherence profilometers measure the pitting of radioactive targets and detect both surface and sub-surface cracks in weld inspection inside reactor cooling systems.

Cryogenic: Low-coherence profilometers measure the level of liquid nitrogen in NASA’s cryogenic chambers at its Propulsion Systems Lab.

Evaporation chambers: Low-coherence profilometers monitor the thickness of a semi-conductor or metal coating during the deposition process. In this way, the optimal stopping time of the coating process is determined.