IR Thermal Wave Tomographic Studies of Structural Composites
Vavilov et al  have recently described a technique for making tomographic thermal wave images. Their method involves recording a succession of thermal wave images after a flash-heating pulse, followed by a numerical pixel-by-pixel search of the images for the time at which the reflected thermal waves from subsurface features have their peak amplitudes. Since the peak time is related to the depth of the scatterer, this information enables one to separate the image into time (or depth) slices. The result is a thermal wave tomogram. Since their process involves post-processing and a search through a large number of stored images, it is memory-intensive, and is difficult to accomplish in real time. In the present paper, we report a thermal wave tomographic method which accomplishes the same result, but does so with real-time techniques which avoid the storage of a large number of images, and produces the tomogram without post-processing.