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3-D radar image processing methodology for Non-Destructive Testing of aeronautics composite materials and structures

: Brook, A.; Cristofani, Edison; Vandewal, Marijke; Matheis, Carsten; Jonuscheit, Joachim


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society -AESS-:
IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2012. Proceedings. Vol.2 : Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 7 - 11 May 2012
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4673-0656-0 (print)
ISBN: 978-1-4673-0658-4 (online)
Radar Conference (RADAR) <2012, Atlanta/Ga.>
Fraunhofer IPM ()
image reconstruction; image segmentation; composite material; clustering algorithm; classification algorithm; nondestructive testing; quality control

Recently, there has been a significant interest in employing high frequency radar imagery for many industrial oriented and security applications. The quality control of aeronautics composite multi-layered materials and structures through Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is the main focus of this study. The main motivations for using this technology are: it allows penetration of most non-metal and non-polarized materials, it provides the ability for three-dimensional (3-D) imagery and in-depth information, and the millimeter waves (mmW) pose no health risk to the operator. The main goal of this research is to develop an integrated, semi-automatic and near real-time mode-operated image processing methodology for frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) millimeter wave images with center frequ encies around 100 GHz and 300 GHz. The proposed methodology firstly foresees to process reflectance and transmittance 3-D imagery by extracting areas of interest and object's boundaries at two operated frequencies. Then, the detected areas are subjected to a multi-source database and integrated by a decision tree algorithm. The fused information is used to identify defects and in-homogeneities within the objects. Finally, the post-processing phase examines and evaluates the spatial accuracy of the extracted information.