Complex Geometry Systems

Producing ultrasonic test systems since 1987

USL’s flagship system family, the 10-axis complex geometry is used every day around the world in a multitude of locations to inspecting a broad range of aerospace components.

Benefits of our system

Operating on cartesian coordinates, straight line movements of linear axes are fast, repeatable and highly accurate.

This system type features up to 10 AC-servo controlled scanning axes with absolute encoder feedback as well as one pump motor per side.

Simultaneous data acquisition using both logarithmic and linear amplifiers gives optimised through-transmission and pulse-echo inspection in the same scan making complex geometries a time-efficient system choice for a variety of inspections.

The working envelope of a cartesian system is a rectangular prism, scan length is scalable anywhere from 4 to 20 metres.

There are no dead zones or physical limits so end-effectors can reach virtually any point within the working volume.

X-tip gearboxes feature hardened, helically cut bevel gears for accuracy and reduced wear.

High quality linear bearings and rails, ball-screws and racks with automatic lubrication systems.

Typical Applications

Flat, single or double curvature components, J-Nose/leading edge inspections. Monolithic, laminate, aluminium or Nomex honeycomb structures, components with complex surface geometries.

Typically operated using multiple timeslots to capture all required inspections in a single pass.

Suitable for the following:

Features of our complex geometry systems


The system is built around a substantial welded base framework fabricated from steel tubular section, supporting corner posts and upper-framework. This provides a rigid infrastructure for the linear guides and drives.

Motion Control

Axis motion is controlled by state-of-the-art USL Scanner software. Manual set up and motion is via a USL wireless joystick.

Manipulator Axes

Each side of the machine has two manipulator axes configured as X-tip and Z-tip (gimbal-gimbal). This manipulator configuration allows the system to accurately follow surfaces whilst maintaining the transducer normal to the component surface. Below the X tip gearbox sits a pneumatically actuated collision detect sensor which stops any motion should a collision be encountered.

Water System

A self-contained water system sits adjacent to the system and includes a sand particle filter and UV treatment lamp for removal of particulate and bacteriological contamination. 2 AC-servo motors power the pumps which supply the squirters with water.

Standard system specifications (per side):
Travel limitsas specified1800mm2800mm ±90° ±125°
Resolution0.01mm0.01mm0.01mm0.02° or better0.01° or better
Repeatability *±0.1mm ±0.1mm ±0.1mm ± 0.050± 0.050
Move accuracy *±0.05mm/300mm ±0.05mm/300mm ±0.05mm/300mm 0.1° or better0.1° or better
Speed range **1 to 1000mm/sec1 to 750mm/sec1 to 500mm/sec1 to 30°/sec1 to 30°/sec

(*) These figures apply when measuring the axis in one direction of motion.
(**) The speed of the indexing axes during scanning is controlled automatically by the computer according to the motion required and the slowest axis utilised for that motion. Speeds listed are recommended maximums.

Customising your system

To ensure the system suits your specific needs, you can add any of the following options to one of our machines below:


Base framework can be pit-mounted for flooring flush with surrounding area. Rails to allow roll-in fixtures are an option.

Scan area

Typical height of 2.4 metres, width of 2 metres, scalable anywhere from 4 to 20 metres in length. These dimensions can be adjusted to suit majority of requirements.

Additional components

A variety of squirter nozzles and configurations are available to suit a range of surface geometries including dual-frequency transducer capabilities, J-nose or leading-edge compact manipulators. Phased-array squirter assemblies are also possible with this system.

Check out some of our Immersion systems in our photo galllery