Automatic Data Recording for Manual Ultrasonic Examinations
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Begun in 1973, the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) is the premier international NDE meeting designed to provide an interface between research and early engineering through the presentation of current ideas and results focused on facilitating a rapid transfer to engineering development.
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There exists a need for improving the productivity and reliability of manual ultrasonic examination teams performing PSI or ISI work on nuclear power reactor systems. An analysis of current methods and procedures revealed that the greatest improvement in both areas can be obtained by streamlining data measurement, recording, and reporting. A research and development program for accomplishing this goal is currently near completion. The approach used in this program is to automate the tasks of position measurement and ultrasonic data recording and to use computers for data analysis and reporting. This presentation discusses the automated Search Unit Tracking and Recording (SUTARS) data acquisition system that is being developed. When using the SUTAR system, the only function that the operator will need to perform during the examination is to guide the search unit so as to obtain complete coverage of the volume of interest. The system will automatically measure search unit position and yaw angle by a noncontacting method that eliminates the encumbrances inherent in a mechanical position sensor. To measure the ultrasonic data, a commercial flaw detector was modified so that an auxiliary subsystem automatically digitized video information obtained from the volume of interest. The examination data will be recorded on a digital magnetic tape recorded situated at a convenient location remote from the operator. Also recorded will be ten different items of examination documentation data such as operator identification, refracted beam angle, data sheet number, instrument serial number, etc.