Guided plate wave scattering at vertical stiffeners and its effect on source location

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Reusser, Ricky
Chimenti, Dale
Roberts, Ronald
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Holland, Stephen
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Aerospace Engineering

The Department of Aerospace Engineering seeks to instruct the design, analysis, testing, and operation of vehicles which operate in air, water, or space, including studies of aerodynamics, structure mechanics, propulsion, and the like.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering was organized as the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1942. Its name was changed to the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1961. In 1990, the department absorbed the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics and became the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. In 2003 the name was changed back to the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

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  • Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (1990-2003)

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Center for Nondestructive Evaluation

The Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State has been involved in the use of nondestructive evaluation testing (NDT) technologies to: assess the integrity of a substance, material or structure; assess the criticality of any flaws, and to predict the object’s remaining serviceability. NDT technologies used include ultrasonics and acoustic emissions, electromagnetic technologies, computer tomography, thermal imaging, and others.

In October of 1985 the CNDE was approved by the State Board of Regents after it had received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

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This paper examines guided wave transmission characteristics of plate stiffeners and their influence on the performance of acoustic noise source location. The motivation for this work is the detection of air leaks in manned spacecraft. The leaking air is turbulent and generates noise that can be detected by a contact-coupled acoustic array to perform source location and find the air leak. Transmission characteristics of individual integral stiffeners are measured across a frequency range of 50–400 kHz for both high and low aspect-ratio rectangular stiffeners, and comparisons are made to model predictions which display generally good agreement. It is demonstrated that operating in frequency ranges of high plate wave stiffener transmission significantly improves the reliability of noise source location in the plate. A protocol is presented to enable the selection of an optimal frequency range for leak location.


This is a post-print of an article published in Ultrasonics, 52, no. 6 (August 2012): 687–693, doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2011.10.012.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011