This floating ultrasonic transducer inspection system is based on a “momentary touching” scheme wherein the ultrasonic transducer is in contact with the structure being scanned for a relatively short time while performing the measurement. A vibrating element is a fundamental component, allowing the probe to lift up and down quickly over the surface being scanned. The measurement duty cycle would be long enough to acquire the data. Using this configuration reduces the coefficient of friction significantly by more than 95% based on the measurement duty cycle.

The overall design allows the transducer to “float” on the surface for rapid hand inspections of large areas. The design also eliminates the need for a water or gel coupling agent between the transducer probe and the surface being scanned, which simplifies the inspection and prevents potential contamination of the area being scanned.

This work was done by Joseph N. Zalameda and Patrick H. Johnston of Langley Research Center. LAR-17211-1


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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