2011 IR&D Annual Report

EDAS® Hardware Renewal, 18-R8163

Principal Investigators
Jay L. Fisher
Ronald H. Peterson

Inclusive Dates:  07/06/10 – 12/31/10

Background — The Enhanced Data Acquisition System (EDAS) includes SwRI-proprietary hardware and software, designed to support ultrasonic inspection of commercial nuclear reactor pressure vessels and piping. To meet customer requests for improved performance and smaller and more portable systems, and to allow long-term support of existing systems that are in current use, it was necessary to redesign the EDAS hardware. The proprietary hardware is primarily the "channel board," which is a digital ultrasonic testing (UT) instrument on a printed circuit board. This UT instrument is specialized to meet the high-speed and thick-wall inspection requirements of nuclear reactors.

Figure 1. First delivered EDAS-MS Channel Board
Figure 1. First delivered EDAS-MS Channel Board.

Approach — The channel board architecture was redesigned to be compatible with the same bus (VME) as most existing EDAS systems, but also be useable in a smaller chassis as well as existing chassis and to improve performance in the areas of amplitude linearity and maximum bandwidth and digitization rate.

The specific goals of the redesign were to:

  • Maintain the ability to manufacture the boards in the future

  • Improve performance and enhance capability

  • Reduce physical size and manufacturing cost

  • Establish intellectual property ownership of the new boards

Accomplishments — The channel board redesign, including basic firmware, was completed. Two portable systems using the new design have been delivered to external customers, and one system was manufactured for internal use.

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.