Model-Based Signal Processing for Laser Ultrasonic Signal Enhancement
Chinn, D. J.
Spicer, J. B.
The use of laser-based ultrasonics in the testing of materials and structures offers various advantages over more traditional ultrasonic methods, but is often less sensitive when applied to real materials. Although high energy laser pulses can generate large ultrasonic displacements, nondestructive evaluation requires that the ablation regime be avoided, thus limiting the amount of optical energy which may be used. For this reason, signal processing of laser generated ultrasonic waveforms detected using laser interferometers may be required to extract the desired information from a nondestructive laser ultrasonic test. A model-based signal processing technique offers a way to enhance the signal-to-noise ratios significantly for ultrasonic waveforms obtained using laser-based systems with the generation of the ultrasound occurring in the nondestructive thermoelastic regime.