Simulation and implementation of ultrasonic remote sensing agents for reconfigurable NDE scanning

Dobie, G.I.I. and Spencer, A. and Pierce, S.G. and Galbraith, W. and Worden, K. and Hayward, G. (2009) Simulation and implementation of ultrasonic remote sensing agents for reconfigurable NDE scanning. In: Review of Progess in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation. American Institute of Physics, pp. 990-997. ISBN 978-0-7354-0629-2

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Abstract

Remote Sensing Agents (RSAs), in the form of miniature robotic platforms, offer unique possibilities for structural inspection. Autonomous groups of RSAs can quickly cover large areas, access hazardous and inaccessible environments and work together intelligently to detect, localize and identify defects. This paper describes such a concept, using wireless RSAs that incorporate air-coupled Lamb wave ultrasonic sensors, combined with magnetic traction. The work focuses on reconfigurable array scanning in plates, where the ability to reconfigure the scanner intelligently requires an understanding of the ultrasonic wave generation, its propagation and the mechanics, positioning and control of the RSAs. To this end, a simulation of the complete system has been created. Ultrasonic generation has been modeled by the Linear Systems 1D Model; the resulting wave propagation is modeled in 3D using the Local Interaction Simulation Approach and a dynamic simulation of the RSA was used to model the transducer positions. The complete model is used to evaluate and optimize inspection strategies.