Robotic based reconfigurable Lamb wave scanner for non-destructive evaluation

Dobie, G. and Galbraith, W. and Friedrich, M. and Pierce, S.G. and Hayward, G.; (2007) Robotic based reconfigurable Lamb wave scanner for non-destructive evaluation. In: IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, 2007. IEEE, USA, pp. 1213-1216. ISBN 978-1-4244-1383-6 (

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Robotic vehicles are receiving increasing attention due to their attractiveness in terms of cost, safety and their accessibility to areas where manual inspection is not practical. This paper details work on a reconfigurable Lamb wave scanner using autonomous robotic platforms. The scanner is built from a fleet of miniature robotic agents, each with an air coupled ultrasonic Lamb wave transmitter or receiver. These agents can transmit Lamb waves between each other to interrogate the material and efficiently create a C-scan of the test component. The aggregated nature of the scanner makes it both adaptable and robust - agents can be removed and the system will reconfigure to compensate. The transmission of Lamb waves over distances up to 1m also makes the scanner highly efficient. The authors have successfully demonstrated a reconfigurable Lamb wave scanner that works on both aluminium and steel. The scanner can detect artificial defects of 10% of the sample's depth with a positional accuracy of 1 cm.