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Standardization and Management of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Data

Critical infrastructures, such as nuclear power plants or military hardware, require data management solutions for long-term data retention. Since many federal agencies or their contractors are required to maintain non-destructive testing (NDT) data for twenty to fifty years, representatives of several federal agencies, including, but not limited to the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and NASA, have organized the Federal Working Group on Industrial Digital radiography (FWG-IDR). The FWG-IDR has identified several transitional hurdles facing the industrial radiography community as it moves from film radiography to digital radiography. One such hurdle is the long-term retention of digital radiographic data and its associated metadata. The FWG-IDR proposes the adoption of internationally recognized standards to reduce the costs associated with legacy data usage and conversion while exploiting the ease of storage, retrieval and dissemination of digital data. The medical community has developed the DICOM standard and utilizes Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) for storage and retrieval of medical imagery and metadata. Similarly, the industrial radiography community can take full advantage of the capabilities of digital radiography by adopting the ASTM DICONDE standard that addresses the storage, retrieval and dissemination of digital NDT data, including radiographic inspection data. This paper reviews the efforts of the FWG-IDR Task Team for Data Standardization and Management. This team is developing a set of recommendations for adopting the ASTM DICONDE standard as it is applied to NDT imaging modalities such as computed radiography, digital radiography and computed tomography. FWG-IDR is also leading efforts to review and revise existing ASTM standards for media archival and retention to incorporate storage media such as CDs and DVDs. The team is exploring data transmission and image sharing techniques to ensure data integrity and security across wide area networks and devising approaches to analyze network performance for determining the impact of multiframe Information Object Definitions (IODs). Data mining of metadata is being investigated to identify possible performance degradation of NDT imaging equipment over time through usage statistics or the analysis of calibration data. Lastly, the team is attempting to conduct quantitative studies of legacy data management costs to demonstrate the efficacy of data standardization and management techniques to minimize these costs.

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