Technical society recognizes Army scientist

June 02, 2016

By ARL Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 26, 2016) -- A U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientist is using advanced ultrasonic testing techniques that may lead to safer Army vehicles.

Dr. Christopher M. Kube measures properties and features inside materials, such as copper spot welding tips, using high-frequency sound waves.

The American Society of Nondestructive Testing, the world's largest technical society for nondestructive testing professionals, recently selected a paper Kube co-authored with five other scientists as an "Outstanding Paper of 2016."

This honor is presented to published authors with papers that are an "outstanding contribution to the advancement of fundamental knowledge in nondestructive evaluation," according to a committee from Research in Nondestructive Evaluation – a peer-reviewed scientific journal. This award will be presented during the awards banquet of the 2016 ASNT Annual Conference. It will also be highlighted in the October 2016 edition of Materials Evaluation.

"We used ultrasound to measure the grain size in order to differentiate properties of different copper alloys," Kube said. "In this paper, we show how we optimally tuned ultrasound to interact with geometric features on the material microscale. The goal was to improve the measurement sensitivity to the quality of spot welds used throughout the automotive industry."

Kube and other Army researchers are working on transitioning this work to a futuristic dashboard that could change the way Army aviation operates by enabling updates on the health of Army vehicles at the microscale material level. Kube is the Nondestructive Evaluation Lead of the Vehicle Technology Directorate's Prognostics and Diagnostics Team.

Today's black boxes capture basic flight operational information and are not for real-time monitoring. However, in the future, Army researchers hope to provide automated real-time solutions for aviators to safely complete their missions.

The concept is a system called VRAMS, or the Virtual Risk-informed Agile Maneuver Sustainment Intelligent State Awareness System.

"This work is being transitioned into a major component of the VRAMS initiative," Kube said. "Ultrasound that is sensitive to the microscale evolution of rotorcraft components will assess the overall component health and remaining life." "Ultimately, we are pushing toward rotorcraft vehicles that need considerably less maintenance while greatly increasing the safety of the Army warfighters on board."

The other co-authors of the article were Adrian Wydra, Andriy Chertov, Roman Maev from the University of Windsor and Tessonics, Inc and Hualong Du, and Joseph A. Turner from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Moving forward, "The University of Windsor and Tessonics Inc., will be lending their expertise in nondestructive evaluation and imaging diagnostics to help accelerate the VRAMS initiative," Kube said.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kube has a doctorate in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, and a doctoral minor in general business and commerce. He earned his master of science in engineering mechanics. His graduate work led to two patents related to the use of ultrasound for monitoring structural and material properties. He has a bachelor of arts in physics from Hastings College.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Last Update / Reviewed: June 2, 2016