Wireless Eddy Current System Prototype for Nondestructive Testing

Eddy current is an important nondestructive testing technique for conductive materials and structures, especially for the detection of surface and subsurface defects such as cracks, voids, and debonds in aircraft engines and wings. In this research, a prototype for wireless eddy current system was designed, and an eddy current probe interface and a main unit interface were developed, where Ultra Wide Band wireless communication technique was applied due to its high data rates and communication range. During testing, the signal at the probe interface was activated, measured, digitized and transmitted wirelessly to the main unit interface, where the signal was then converted back to analog signal for a normal display on the main unit monitor. This wireless system was applied on different conductive materials and various types of cracks in a plate and cylinder. Testing results showed that factors such as wireless communication distance and obstacles in between the probe and main unit have very small influence on wireless signals, but signal distortion such as amplitude drop, phase shift and digitization effects exist can be quantified.

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