Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Steady State Acoustic Wavenumber Spectromer

Handheld imager that identifies hidden structural properties and/or defects by making fast, full-field measurements of a structural steady-state ultrasonic response.

LAUR: 16-22507


  • 30 Times Faster than Existing Scanners- (AWS) doesn’t have to wait for transient responses to pulsed excitation, making it over 30 times faster than the leading scanning-laser ultrasound Nondestructive Inspection technology.
  • Flexible Excitation Options-The excitation source doesn’t move and its placement is not critical. This enables several excitation options that can fit the constraints of the application, including temporary transducers, embedded transducers, air-coupled transducers, vibrating platforms or clamps, and pulsed-laser excitation.
  • Convenient- (AWS) does not require precise alignment or synchronization. Complex shaped parts/structures in a rectangular scan are automatically separated from objects in the background, so there is no need to define detailed scan paths.
  • Multiple Capabilities- (AWS) measures local wavenumber signatures, which are a deterministic function of local material and geometric properties. AWS has the potential to locate, size, and characterize delamination, corrosion, resin content, joint disbands, foreign object debris, coating quality, porosity layer adhesion, adhered material, thickness profile, and evidence of tampering.

E. B. Flynn and G. J. Jarmer, “High-Speed, Non-Contact, Baseline-Free Imaging of Hidden Defects Using Scanning Laser Measurements of Steady-State Ultrasonic Vibration,” in Structural Health Monitoring 2013, Stanford, CA, 2013, vol. 1, pp. 1186–1193.

E. B. Flynn, S. Y. Chong, G. J. Jarmer, and J. R. Lee, “Imaging structures through local wavenumber estimation of guided waves,” Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation International, 2013.

E. Flynn, J. LEE, G. Jarmer, and G. Park, “Frequency-wavenumber processing of laser-excited guided waves for imaging structural features and defects,” Proceedings of the 6th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, 2012.

E. B. Flynn, S. Y. Chong, G. J. Jarmer, and J. R. Lee, “Defect Characterization using Scanning-Laser-Generated Guided Waves,” in Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Advances in Structural Health Management and Composite Structures, Jeonju, South Korea, 2012.

E. B. Flynn, S. Y. Chong, G. J. Jarmer, and J.-R. Lee, “Structural imaging through local wavenumber estimation of guided waves,” NDT & E International, vol. 59, pp. 1–10, Oct. 2013.

E. B. Flynn, “Embedded Multi-Tone Ultrasonic Excitation and Continuous-Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometry for Rapid and Remote Imaging of Structural Defects,” presented at the EWSHM-7th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, 2014.


S-133158.001, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 14/688,854, entitled “Nondestructive Inspection Using Continuous Ultrasonic Wave Generation”, April 16th, 2015

S-133299.000, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/189,531, entitled “Tamper Detection System”, July 7th, 2015

Development Stage

TRL 6-7: An advanced prototype has been fully tested in the field at the FAA aging aircraft facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.