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Development of a manual air-coupled ultrasonic inspection instrument for use on aeronautical structures under in-service conditions

Gachagan, A. and Kelly, S. and Altman, M. and Grauvogl, E. and Hayward, G. and Banks, Robert and Mccunnie, Thomas and Skillen, David (2002) Development of a manual air-coupled ultrasonic inspection instrument for use on aeronautical structures under in-service conditions. In: 29th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, 2002-07-14 - 2002-07-19.

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Abstract

This paper describes the development programme for a portable non-contact inspection system, suitable for in-service inspection of aeronautical structures. The instrument is powered from a re-chargeable battery pack which provides over six hours of continuous usage. The transducer front end is a lightweight, hand-held assembly in which a pair of piezocomposite transducers are housed. Angular adjustment of the transducers enables the instrument to operate into a variety of materials, with metallic and composite materials of primary interest. Importantly, a single channel oscilloscope has, been incorporated to provide visual interpretation of the processed received signal. Defect detection is demonstrated in a number of aerospace samples, with the resultant C-scans presented where appropriate.