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9 March 2014 Non-contact ultrasonic guided wave inspections of rails
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The University of California at San Diego (UCSD), under a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Research and Development (R&D) grant, is developing a system for high-speed and non-contact rail integrity evaluation. A prototype using an ultrasonic air-coupled guided wave signal generation and air-coupled signal detection, in pair with a real-time statistical analysis algorithm, is under development. Experimental tests results, carried out at the UCSD Rail Defect Farm, indicate that the prototype is able to detect internal rail defects with high reliability. Extensions of the system are planned to add rail surface characterization to the internal rail defect detection.
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Thompson V. Nguyen, Stefano Mariani, and Francesco Lanza di Scalea "Non-contact ultrasonic guided wave inspections of rails", Proc. SPIE 9064, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2014, 90640V (9 March 2014);

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