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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Aeronautics composite material inspection with a terahertz time-domain spectroscopy system
Author(s): Frank Ospald; Wissem Zouaghi; Rene Beigang; Carsten Matheis; Joachim Jonuscheit; Benoit Recur; Jean-Paul Guillet; Patrick Mounaix; Wouter Vleugels; Pablo Venegas Bosom; Laura Vega Gonzalez; Ion Lopez; Rafael Martinez Edo; Yehuda Sternberg; Marijke Vandewal

Paper Abstract

The usability of pulsed broadband terahertz radiation for the inspection of composite materials from the aeronautics industry is investigated, with the goal of developing a mobile time-domain spectroscopy system that operates in reflection geometry. A wide range of samples based on glass and carbon fiber reinforced plastics with various types of defects is examined using an imaging system; the results are evaluated both in time and frequency domain. The conductivity of carbon fibers prevents penetration of the respective samples but also allows analysis of coatings from the reflected THz pulses. Glass fiber composites are, in principle, transparent for THz radiation, but commonly with significant absorption for wavelengths <1  THz . Depending on depth, matrix material, and size, defects like foreign material inserts, delaminations, or moisture contamination can be visualized. If a defect is not too deep in the sample, its location can be correctly identified from the delay between partial reflections at the surface and the defect itself.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 December 2013
PDF: 15 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(3) 031208 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.3.031208
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Frank Ospald, Technische Univ. Kaiserslautern (Germany)
Wissem Zouaghi, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Univ. Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Rene Beigang, Technische Univ. Kaiserslautern (Germany)
Carsten Matheis, Fraunhofer-Institut für Physikalische Messtechnik (Germany)
Joachim Jonuscheit, Fraunhofer-Institut für Physikalische Messtechnik (Germany)
Benoit Recur, Univ. Bordeaux 1 (France)
Jean-Paul Guillet, Univ. Bordeaux 1 (France)
Patrick Mounaix, Univ. Bordeaux 1 (France)
Wouter Vleugels, Verhaert New Products and Services (Belgium)
Pablo Venegas Bosom, Fundación Centro de Tecnologias Aeronáuticas (Spain)
Laura Vega Gonzalez, Fundación Centro de Tecnologias Aeronáuticas (Spain)
Ion Lopez, Fundación Centro de Tecnologias Aeronáuticas (Spain)
Rafael Martinez Edo, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
Yehuda Sternberg, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (Israel)
Marijke Vandewal, Royal Belgian Military Academy (Belgium)

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