This patented surface contamination detection system enables accurate, automated, in-line inspection of metallic and composite panels prior to bonding, coating, painting, or welding operations. This technology is currently used for realtime, in-process panel inspection at a leading U.S. aircraft manufacturer, where detecting surface contamination before subsequent operations has resulted in lower scrap and rework cost, and improved customer satisfaction. The technology is transferable to any applications where surface contamination of metal or composite panels is undesirable, necessitating the need for in-process inspection.

This method and apparatus incorporates infrared imaging technology and automated multiple cameras to enable accurate, reliable, and automated detection of contaminants on metallic and composite panels. This technology makes surface inspection feasible for high-throughput processing lines.

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