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Proceedings Paper

Multi-element adjustable transducer arrays for the ultrasonic scanning of aging aircraft
Author(s): Igor N. Komsky
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Paper Abstract

As a part of an aircraft inspection, characterization of fatigue cracks and corrosion spots is a vital task to ensure airworthiness of airplane structures. Conventional techniques for crack or corrosion characterization are based on either echo-amplitude measurements or time-of-flight evaluation. Application of more advanced imaging or scanning techniques significantly improves the accuracy and resolution of ultrasonic measurements. However, these techniques usually require high-cost instrumentation and training. A novel adjustable transducer array for an ultrasonic scanning using low-cost portable data acquisition units has been developed at Northwestern University. The array is utilized to detect and characterize small incipient fatigue cracks and corrosion spots, as well as to monitor the sealant quality in the multi-layered airplane structures. The arrays are suitable for rapid adjustments of elements with different parameters over a wide range of spatial orientations based on the configuration of the aircraft structure, type of the flaw to be detected, and the inspection procedure. The adjustable transducer arrays will replace currently used single element transducer assemblies that are custom-made for each particular application. The new arrays require minimal time to be readjusted from one application to another. The arrays are compatible with the commercially available portable ultrasonic units.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 June 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4702, Smart Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems, (11 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469873
Show Author Affiliations
Igor N. Komsky, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4702:
Smart Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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