22 April 2009 Measurement limits in flash thermography
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Abstract
Although active thermography has traditionally been regarded as a qualitative NDT method, its potential for quantitative measurement of thermophysical properties including wall thickness, flaw size and depth, thermal diffusivity or effusivity has been the subject of numerous investigations. Enabled by improvements in IR camera technology and fast, abundant and inexpensive computing power for advanced signal processing, measurement results have been reported using a variety of excitation and signal processing schemes. Results are often presented as a correlation between thermography data and nominal properties or independent measurements by another "validated" method. However, given the diffusion mechanism that underlies thermography, and the quantization and sampling conditions implicit in using an IR camera as a temperature sensor, there are definite limits to what can be achieved in a thermography measurement. While many benefits can be achieved with improved instrumentation, efficient energy insertion or optimized signal processing, ultimately, the limits imposed by diffusion and instrumentation take precedence, and cannot be circumvented. In this paper, the effects of camera frame rate and sensitivity on measurement of the thickness of a slab are examined, using basic 1-dimensional diffusion approximations.
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Steven M. Shepard, James R. Lhota, Tasdiq Ahmed, "Measurement limits in flash thermography", Proc. SPIE 7299, Thermosense XXXI, 72990T (22 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820062; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.820062
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