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1 April 2010 Time reversal for damage detection in pipes
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Monitoring the structural integrity of vast natural gas pipeline networks requires continuous and economical inspection technology. Current approaches for inspecting buried pipelines require periodic excavation of sections of pipe to assess only a couple of hundred meters at a time. These inspection systems for pipelines are temporary and expensive. We propose to use guided-wave ultrasonics with Time Reversal techniques to develop an active sensing and continuous monitoring system. Pipe environments are complex due to the presence of multiple modes and high dispersion. These are treated as adverse effects by most conventional ultrasonic techniques. However, Time Reversal takes advantage of the multi-modal and dispersive behaviors to improve the spatial and temporal wave focusing. In this paper, Time Reversal process is mathematically described and experimentally demonstrated through six laboratory experiments, providing comprehensive and promising results on guided wave focusing in a pipe with/without welded joint, with/without internal pressure, and detection of three defects: lateral, longitudinal and corrosion-like. The experimental results show that Time Reversal can effectively compensate for multiple modes and dispersion in pipes, resulting in an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and effective damage detection ability. As a consequence, Time Reversal shows benefits in long-distance and lowpower pipeline monitoring, as well as potential for applications in other infrastructures.
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Yujie Ying, Joel Harley, James H. Garrett Jr., Yuanwei Jin, José M. F. Moura, Nicholas O'Donoughue, Irving J. Oppenheim, and Lucio Soibelman "Time reversal for damage detection in pipes", Proc. SPIE 7647, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010, 76473S (1 April 2010);

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