Calibration of ultrasonic hardware for enhanced total focusing method imaging

M. Ingram, A. Gachagan, A. Nordon, A. J. Mullholland, M. Hegarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
332 Downloads (Pure)


Experimental variation from ultrasonic hardware is one source of uncertainty in measured ultrasonic data. This uncertainty leads to a reduction in the accuracy of images generated from these data. In this paper, a quick, easy-to-use and robust methodology is proposed to reduce this uncertainty in images generated using the total focusing method (TFM). Using a 128-element linear phased array, multiple full matrix capture (FMC) datasets of a planar reflection are used to characterise the experimental variation associated with each element index in the aperture. Following this, a methodology to decouple the time-domain error associated with transmission and reception at each element index is presented. These time-domain errors are then introduced into a simulated array model used to generate the two-way pressure profile from the array. The side-lobe-to-main-lobe energy ratio (SMER) and beam offset are used to quantify the impact of these measured time-domain errors on the pressure profile. This analysis shows that the SMER is raised by more than 6 dB and the beam is offset by more than 1 mm from its programmed focal position. This calibration methodology is then demonstrated using a steel non-destructive testing (NDT) sample with three side-drilled holes (SDHs). The time delay errors from transmission and reception are introduced into the time-of-flight (TOF) calculation for each ray path in the TFM. This results in an enhancement in the accuracy of defect localisation in the TFM image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalInsight: The Journal of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing
Issue number7
Early online date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


  • Total Focusing Method (TFM)
  • experimental variation
  • simulated array model


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