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6 June 2011 Ultrasonic imaging of material flaws exploiting multipath information
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In this paper, we consider ultrasonic imaging for the visualization of flaws in a material. Ultrasonic imaging is a powerful nondestructive testing (NDT) tool which assesses material conditions via the detection, localization, and classification of flaws inside a structure. Multipath exploitations provide extended virtual array apertures and, in turn, enhance imaging capability beyond the limitation of traditional multisensor approaches. We utilize reflections of ultrasonic signals which occur when encountering different media and interior discontinuities. The waveforms observed at the physical as well as virtual sensors yield additional measurements corresponding to different aspect angles. Exploitation of multipath information addresses unique issues observed in ultrasonic imaging. (1) Utilization of physical and virtual sensors significantly extends the array aperture for image enhancement. (2) Multipath signals extend the angle of view of the narrow beamwidth of the ultrasound transducers, allowing improved visibility and array design flexibility. (3) Ultrasonic signals experience difficulty in penetrating a flaw, thus the aspect angle of the observation is limited unless access to other sides is available. The significant extension of the aperture makes it possible to yield flaw observation from multiple aspect angles. We show that data fusion of physical and virtual sensor data significantly improves the detection and localization performance. The effectiveness of the proposed multipath exploitation approach is demonstrated through experimental studies.
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Xizhong Shen, Yimin D. Zhang, Ramazan Demirli, and Moeness G. Amin "Ultrasonic imaging of material flaws exploiting multipath information", Proc. SPIE 8064, Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2011, 80640N (6 June 2011);

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