Leak Detection in Spacecraft Using a 64-Element Multiplexed Passive Array to Monitor Structure-Borne Noise
We demonstrate an array sensor method intended to locate leaks in manned spacecraft using leak‐generated, structure‐borne ultrasonic noise. We have developed and tested a method for sensing and processing leak noise to reveal the leak location involving the use of a 64‐element phased‐array. Cross‐correlations of ultrasonic noise waveforms from a leak into vacuum have been used with a phased‐array analysis to find the direction from the sensor to the leak. This method measures the propagation of guided ultrasonic Lamb waves passing under the PZT array sensor in the spacecraft skin structure. This paper will describe the custom‐designed array with integrated electronics, as well as the performance of the array in prototype applications. We show that this method can be used to successfully locate leaks to within a few millimeters on a 0.6‐m square aluminum plate.
Copyright 2006 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
This article appeared in AIP Conference Proceedings, 820 (2006): 885–891 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2184619.