Evaluation of coded excitations for autonomous airborne ultrasonic inspection

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are receiving increasing attention for use in Non-Destructive Testing due to their ability to access areas where manual inspection is not practical. Contact-based UAV ultrasonic inspections grant the opportunity to remotely monitor the structural health of an industrial asset with enhanced internal integrity information. Ultrasonic inspection is a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) method conventionally used in corrosion mapping. Surface contacting ultrasonic transducers provide enhanced structural integrity information. However, due to near-surface aerodynamic effects, angular sensitivity of the ultrasound probe and alignment error during autonomous inspections, ultrasonic thickness measurements with low Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) are common. Coded excitation consists of a series of binary bits, whereby the polarity of the voltage is varied following a set excitation sequence to produce desirable signal properties. Here, coded excitation is utilised to increase SNR and thereby reduce measurement uncertainty originating from non-ideal transducer alignment with asset surfaces during inspections. This paper evaluates the performance of two binary code sequences (8-bit Golay, 13-bit Barker) for use in autonomous airborne inspections.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2019
Event2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium: IEEE UFFC - SECC, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Oct 20199 Oct 2019


Conference2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium
Abbreviated titleIUS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • coded excitation
  • ultrasonic inspection
  • UAV


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