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What Is Probability of Detection?

Probability of detection (POD) evaluation is a widely accepted practice for quantifying the reliability of a nondestructive testing (NDT) technique. Inspections are often conceptualized and developed in laboratory environments, where factors affecting the inspection are highly controlled. However, when implemented in practice, NDT inspections suffer from many sources of variability, including changes from nominal geometry of the test piece, sensor variability, differences between operators, environmental effects on the sensor response including thermal and electromagnetic interference, and a myriad of other factors that are not present in the lab. Thus, to transition the NDT from the lab to production environments, engineers must have a quantified understanding of uncertainties. This is especially true for NDT systems that are implemented for safety-critical structures, where the life of the component may be managed with NDT. A fundamental question that must be answered in this context is: What is the largest discontinuity that could be missed when this NDT technique is implemented?


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