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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic camera automatic image depth and stitching modifications for monitoring aerospace composites
Author(s): Brad Regez; Goutham Kirikera; Martin Tan Hwai Yuen; Sridhar Krishnaswamy; Bob Lasser
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Paper Abstract

Two modifications to an ultrasonic camera system have been performed in an effort to reduce setup time and post inspection image processing. Current production ultrasonic cameras have image gates that are adjusted manually. The process to adjust them prior to each inspection consumes large amounts of time and requires a skilled operator. The authors have overcome this by integrating the A-Scan and image together such that the image gating is automatically adjusted using the A-Scan data. The system monitors the A-scan signal which is in the center of the camera's field of view (FOV) and adjusts the image gating accordingly. This integration will allow for defect detection at any depth of the inspected area. Ultrasonic camera operation requires the inspector to scan the surface manually while observing the cameras FOV in the monitor. If the monitor image indicates a defect the operator then stores that image manually and marks an index on the surface as to where the image has been acquired. The second modification automates this effort by employing a digital encoder and image capture card. The encoder is used to track movement of the camera on the structures surface, record positions, and trigger the image capture device. The images are stored real time in the buffer memory rather than on the hard drive. The storing of images in the buffer enables for a more rapid acquisition time compared to storing the images individually to the hard drive. Once the images are stored, an algorithm tracks the movement of the camera through the encoder and accordingly displays the image to the inspector. Upon completion of the scan, an algorithm digitally stitches all the images to create a single full field image. The modifications were tested on a aerospace composite laminate with known defects and the results are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2009
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7295, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009, 72952H (9 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815891
Show Author Affiliations
Brad Regez, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Goutham Kirikera, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Martin Tan Hwai Yuen, The National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Sridhar Krishnaswamy, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Bob Lasser, Imperium, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7295:
Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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