Automatic Ultrasonic Robotic Array (AURA)

Lead Participant: Alba Ultrasound Limited


AURA will bring together a world leading sensor technology SME, Alba Ultrasound Ltd, Quest Robotics, an embryonic micro SME based within the University of Strathclyde (UoS) and a major international company, Doosan Power Systems (DPS). The key objective is to create a novel, autonomous reconfigurable ultrasound phased array inspection robot for non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT/NDE) in the power generation industry. The technology will significantly reduce manual labour over current inspection regimes, as well as enabling inspection of inaccessible/hazardous areas. This will offer three quantitative benefits to the power industry: improved accuracy, improved safety and reduced costs. The major innovation of the project will be to embed ultrasonic phased array technology into a small form-factor robotic vehicle, overcoming issues in ultrasonic coupling, miniaturised electronics and high power density. Furthermore, AURA will enable the reconstruction of component geometry from positional information, identifying structural deformation. Alba Ultrasound (lead) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of ultrasonic array transducers for challenging conditions. UoS/Quest Robotics is expert in ultrasonic systems, miniature robotic vehicles, embedded electronics and robot positioning. DPS is a boiler and turbine OEM providing manufacturing, testing and servicing/inspection expertise globally with an established relationship with the power generation industry, including 80% of the major power stations in UK. The company has an exclusive contract with EDF Energy, supporting its fleet of power stations across the UK.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Alba Ultrasound Limited, GLASGOW £325,929 £ 165,262


University of Strathclyde Viz Royal College of Science & Technology, Glasgow £320,941 £ 160,305
Doosan Babcock Limited, Crawley £264,181 £ 132,070


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