Comprehensive and accurate tests of welded components have become increasingly important as NASA develops new hardware, such as Ares rocket segments, for future exploration missions. Simulation and modeling will play an increased role in the future of nondestructive testing in order to better understand the physics of the testing process and help explain the experimental results. It will also help to prove or disprove the feasibility of a test technique or scenario, help optimize testing, and allow, to a first approximation, determination of limits of detectability. This study presents simulation and experimental results for ultrasonic phased array testing of a critical welded structure important for NASA future exploration vehicles.
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