Spacecraft leak location using structure-borne noise
Guided ultrasonic waves, generated by air escaping through a small hole, have been measured with an 8×8 piezoelectric phased‐array detector. Rapid location of air leaks in a spacecraft skin, caused by high‐speed collisions with small objects, is essential for astronaut survival. Cross correlation of all 64 elements, one pair at a time, on a diced PZT disc combined with synthetic aperture analysis determines the dominant direction of wave propagation. The leak location is triangulated by combining data from two or more detector. To optimize the frequency band selection for the most robust direction finding, noise‐field measurements of a plate with integral stiffeners have been performed using laser Doppler velocimetry. We compare optical and acoustic measurements to analyze the influence of the PZT array detector and its mechanical coupling to the plate.