The project aims to bring a step change improvement to the sensitivity of ultrasonic array imaging for Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE). This will be based on the processing of the Full Matrix Capture (FMC) set of signals between all pairs of transducer elements, as is already established for state-of-the-art BeamForming (BF) imaging, but the approach for treating the signals will be entirely different. Instead of calculating a forward image from the FMC measurements, an inverse scattering approach will be pursued: this will involve iterations of unknowns in an integrated forward model of the array configuration, material properties and geometry, to find a best match to the measured signals.

This approach has been shown to be capable of overcoming conventional BF limitations in the context of the imaging of biological tissues, to achieve intensified sensitivity and sub-wavelength resolution. This project will develop the concept for NDE, employing a specific, but commonly encountered, critical inspection task as a realistic example to focus the work.

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EPSRC, Rolls-Royce Submarines, AMEC