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Proceedings Paper

NDE of hidden flaws in aging aircraft structures using obliquely backscattered ultrasonic signals (OBUS)
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Ajit K. Mal; Marvin E. Lasser
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Paper Abstract

Corrosion is a relatively slow material degradation process to which metallic structures of aircraft are subjected during service and it can appear in many forms. Generally, corrosion protection for preventing or inhibiting the formation and growth of corrosion damage on aircraft structures is well-established technology. Unfortunately, despite preventive measures, corrosion does occur and its probability of formation significantly increases as structures age. Corrosion detection and characterization at the initiation stages, while hidden under paint or in concealed areas, still poses a challenge to inspection science and technology. Corrosion damage is costly and it carries the risk of loss of life as well as hardware in case of catastrophic failure. The authors are investigating the application of obliquely backscattered ultrasonic signals (OBUS) as a means of detecting and characterizing corrosion under paint in metallic panels. OBUS were measured using oblique insonification and were used to produce C-scan images of corrosion damage located on both top and bottom faces of test panels through the paint. A combination of OBUS data and a sensor-array real-time imaging (SARTI) system is being developed for field applications. SARTI uses CCD to display ultrasonic data nd the integrated system has the potential to reduce the need for paint stripping prior to inspection. The main features of the combined OBUS and SARTI are described in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 January 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3586, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware III, (28 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339903
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Ajit K. Mal, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
Marvin E. Lasser, Imperium, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3586:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware III
Ajit K. Mal, Editor(s)

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