Multimode Dispersion Compensated Pulse-Echo Guided Wave Inspection

Roberts, R.
Koester, L.
Chimenti, D.
Vidyadharan, A.
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Obtaining temporal/spatial resolution in guided wave measurements comparable to that of bulk wave measurements is impeded by the complicating effects of multimode dispersion. Transport of signals by multiple dispersive modes of propagation can transform an initially compact transient into an extended, visually unintelligible wavetrain. Guided mode inspections therefore tend to restrict measurements to regimes for which a single mode can be generated with minimal dispersion, consequently restricting the achievable temporal/spatial resolution of the measurement. The objective of the work reported here is to remove such restrictions, through implementation of wavefield measurements which accommodate the total complexity of multimode dispersed signals. Temporal and spatial Fourier analysis of guided wave fields enables a full identification of individual mode contributions. It is therefore conceivable that, given measurements taken over an appropriate spatial array, processing could be implemented to effectively remove the effects of multimode dispersion, enabling operation in frequency regimes currently associated with bulk wave measurements. This paper will report on work which is exploring this possibility. Results will be presented demonstrating array-based MHz regime plate wave measurements, generating 10 or more modes, in which individual modes are isolated, effects of dispersion are removed, and temporal resolution of the original transmitted pulse is restored. Examples of application will be presented, and factors determining the effectiveness of temporal resolution restoration will be discussed.