NTSB begins microscopic examination of damaged JAL Boeing 787 battery


WASHINGTON, 30 Jan. 2013. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have transitioned from macroscopic to microscopic examinations and into chemical and elemental analysis of the areas of internal short circuiting and thermal damage as part of their research into the cause of the Japan Airlines Boeing 787 fire at Logan International Airport in Boston this month.  

Examination and testing of the exemplar battery from the JAL airplane has begun at the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center laboratories. Detailed examinations will be looking for signs of in-service damage and manufacturing defects. The test program will include mechanical and electrical tests to determine the performance of the battery, and to uncover signs of any degradation in expected performance.

Boeing officials are contributing to the investigation, providing pertinent fleet information that will aid investigators in understanding the operating history of lithium-ion batteries on those airplanes.

An investigative group continues to interpret data from the two digital flight data recorders on the aircraft, and is examining recorded signals to determine if they might yield additional information about the performance of the battery and the operation of the charging system.

In addition to the activities in Washington, investigators are continuing work in Seattle and Japan.

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