Thermal imaging of electrical cabinets inside aircraft cockpits

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Last modified: 9 May 2023
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Aircraft cockpit inspections, both pre-flight and post-flight, consist of a wide range of control routines that need to ensure the safety of its passengers during a flight. Next to that, it is essential that inspections are carried out as efficiently as possible, because every idle hour that is keeping an aircraft waiting on the ground is time and money lost. In that respect, Dutch technical inspection specialist Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden BV found a way to significantly speed up electrical inspections inside the cockpit, while at the same time guaranteeing accuracy and reliability. The secret: thermal imaging technology from FLIR Systems.

Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden BV is an experienced agency which is specialized in independent inspections and supplies recommendations to the industrial and construction markets. The company’s expertise ranges from building inspections, over climate and mechanical installation inspections, to process control and inspection of electronic components. For all of these applications, Thermografisch
& Adviesbureau Uden BV heavily relies on thermography.

“We had a long history of performing inspections of electrical cabinets for industrial applications by means of thermal imaging cameras, but we had never applied this technology for the inspection of cockpit electronics,” comments Mr. Ralf Grispen, owner of Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden BV. In fact, that particular question came directly from Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden BV’s long-term customer
Star Air, a Danish cargo airline, part of the A.P.Moller-Maersk Group, specialized in providing highly reliable cargo lift capacity.

Thermal imaging for cockpit inspections
“Star Air knew that we could successfully perform inspections of water ingress in composite materials of airplanes by means of thermal imaging cameras,” comments Mr. Grispen. “But technicians of the airline company wanted to know if we could use the same technology for the inspections of wiring and cabling inside the cockpit as well. We decided to give that a try.”

Mr. Grispen and Mr. Rob Huting, co-owner of the company, traveled to Cologne Airport, where Star Air’s aircraft fleet is located. Technicians of the airline company made the cockpit of a Boeing 767-200 ready for electrical inspections, and the Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden BV team started its routines. The inspection job was a success: the thermal imaging cameras showed the temperature differences of the cockpit

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Thermografisch Adviesbureau BV

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