Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Real-time Integration of Component Geometry and NDE Measurements in an Augmented Reality Environment

Request Number
Due Date
Jun 20
Program Manager


Contract research, technology license, joint development


Phase 1 Proof of concept in 6-9 months

Phase 2 – Engineering development in 12-15 months


Phase 1 – Proof of concept funding commensurate with proposed activity (up to US$ 225K)

Phase 2 – Funding to be determined

RFP was closed on
Jul 2018

RFP Title


Real-time Integration of Component Geometry and NDE Measurements in an Augmented Reality Environment
RFP Description

NineSigma, on behalf of the Electric Power Research Institute, invites proposals for a reliable method or technology for the real-time coordination and display of surface geometry, probe position, and NDE measurements in an augmented reality environment.


NineSigma’s client has been working to use augmented reality (AR) to visualize data from nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques in relation to the inspected object.  Using augmented reality to combine NDE data with a digital representation of the part being inspected permits the viewer to interpret data and assess the health of the object.  Previous efforts focused on AR display of data on a part after collecting the data.


NineSigma’s client would like to view data in relation to the part as it is collected (in real time) to allow the NDE operator to adjust how he/she collects data.  For example, consider inspection of a welded joint between a pipe and a flange.  The inspector collecting NDE data starts by looking at the weld region.  During data collection, he/she observes signals that indicate a crack.  At that moment, the inspector can adjust probe position to enable a more detailed survey in the suspicious region.


Typical NDE measurements include electromagnetic eddy current testing (ECT) or ultrasonic testing (UT).  The goal is to develop a system suitable for inspecting components that would require about 1 hour for manual inspection.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Demonstrate process on a laboratory model component


Phase 2 – Engineering development

  • Process refinement
  • Complete system development
  • Field trial of integrated system


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Coordinate information from a digital surface map, the NDE probe position, and the NDE measurement to enable real-time data collection and visualization using augmented reality
    • Resolution of ±0.5 mm
  • Enable non-contact, 3D digitization of a surface or assembly
    • Surface digitization could occur in a separate step just prior to beginning NDE measurement
  • Enable inspector to distinguish between an as-designed feature and an unexpected fabrication or service induced flaw
  • Enable definition of a coordinate origin
  • Enable saving a digital record of coordinated data
  • Provide ability to view data stream on multiple devices and types of devices
  • Preferably use open source software for all components (digitization and NDE)
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • 3D surface digitization using head-mounted display with integrated sensors
  • Commercially available hand tracking sensors
Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Surface digitization that requires use of hardware external to the examiner, e.g. handheld scanning devices
  • Digitization processes that require labor intensive post processing by the user
Items to be Submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including data record format, resolution, and system requirements
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Willingness to work with third parties
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has a solution developed for another application, ready to adapt to this one.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a technology transfer agency that represents an inventor or technology holder who can demonstrate an approach to address the request.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest