USBR announces five winners that will share $200,000 in Imperfection Detection Challenge

Finding new, non-destructive methods to inspect carbon fiber-reinforced pipe is the goal of the Imperfection Detection Challenge. Photo credit: USBR

Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamtion (Peter Soeth):

The Bureau of Reclamation selected five winning submissions to share $200,000 for phase 1 of the Imperfection Detection Challenge. This prize competition sought new tools to evaluate the condition of fiber-reinforced polymer composite structures non-destructively. These composites are used in pipelines, tanks and other specialized infrastructure components.

The five winning submissions are:

  • Utilizing Space Tech to Detect FRP Damage on Earth, Brownsville, Texas
  • Low-Terahertz Imaging Radar, Netherlands
  • Ultrasonic SH waves imaging FRP structures, Columbia, Maryland
  • Applied Impact Robotics, Inc, Sterling, Virginia
  • Augmented reality system for low-THz inspection, Romania
  • “Composite structures are increasingly used in constructing pipelines, tanks and other infrastructure,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “We are encouraged by the projects submitted and look forward to further development in the next phase of the prize competition.”

    The five winners now move to phase 2 and have 10 months to develop and demonstrate their prototype’s performance. Up to three of the top-performing teams will receive $10,000 each and move to phase 3.

    In phase 3, finalists deliver their prototypes to be evaluated by Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers and affiliated partners. The winner of this phase receives $50,000.

    Submissions receiving a phase 1 honorable mention for this prize competition are:

  • UAX GO, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
  • Multi-modal Ultrasonic Device (MUD), England
  • Reclamation is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clemson Composites Center, Jesse Garant Metrology, Thompson Pipe Group, NASA Tournament Labs and HeroX on this prize competition. To learn more about this competition, please visit Imperfection Detection Prize Competition Page.

    Prize competitions spur innovation by engaging a non-traditional, problem-solver community. Reclamation supports innovation to target the most persistent science and technology challenges through prize competitions. It has awarded more than $4 million in prizes through 28 competitions in the past six years. Please visit Reclamation’s Water Prize Competition Center to learn more.

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