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Proceedings Paper

Influence of laser parameters on laser ultrasonic efficiency
Author(s): Andrew Forbes; Lourens Botha; Neil du Preez; Tommy Drake
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Paper Abstract

Laser ultrasonics is currently the optimal method for non-destructive testing of composite materials in the aerospace industry. The process is based on a laser-generated ultrasound wave which propagates inside the composite. The response at the material surface is detected and converted into a defect map across the aircraft. The design and optimisation of a laser system for this application is reviewed in this paper, together with the basic science involved. This includes the optimisation of laser parameters, such as output couplers and gas mixture, and the impact these choices have on the laser chemistry. We present a theory for the catalytic recombination of the gas which shows excellent agreement with experiment. Finally, an operating laser system for this application, yielding a six-fold improvement in performance over conventional laser systems, is described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6346, XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers, 63462X (26 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.739125
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Forbes, CSIR National Laser Ctr. (South Africa)
Lourens Botha, CSIR National Laser Ctr. (South Africa)
Neil du Preez, Scientific Development and Integration Ltd. (South Africa)
Tommy Drake, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6346:
XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers
Dieter Schuöcker, Editor(s)

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