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Robust frequency diversity based algorithm for clutter noise reduction of ultrasonic signals using multiple sub-spectrum phase coherence

Gongzhang, Rui and Li, Minghui and Xiao, Bo and Lardner, Timothy and Gachagan, Anthony (2013) Robust frequency diversity based algorithm for clutter noise reduction of ultrasonic signals using multiple sub-spectrum phase coherence. In: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation: Incorporating the 10th International Conference on Barkhausen Noise and Micromagnetic Testing. AIP Conference Proceedings, 33A . AIP Conference Proceedings, Melville. ISBN 978735412118

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This paper presents a robust frequency diversity based algorithm for clutter reduction in ultrasonic A-scan waveforms. The performance of conventional spectral-temporal techniques like Split Spectrum Processing (SSP) is highly dependent on the parameter selection, especially when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is low. Although spatial beamforming offers noise reduction with less sensitivity to parameter variation, phased array techniques are not always available. The proposed algorithm first selects an ascending series of frequency bands. A signal is reconstructed for each selected band in which a defect is present when all frequency components are in uniform sign. Combining all reconstructed signals through averaging gives a probability profile of potential defect position. To facilitate data collection and validate the proposed algorithm, Full Matrix Capture is applied on the austenitic steel and high nickel alloy (HNA) samples with 5MHz transducer arrays. When processing A-scan signals with unrefined parameters, the proposed algorithm enhances SNR by 20dB for both samples and consequently, defects are more visible in B-scan images created from the large amount of A-scan traces. Importantly, the proposed algorithm is considered robust, while SSP is shown to fail on the austenitic steel data and achieves less SNR enhancement on the HNA data.