Real-time ultrasonic pipe inspection system

Date of Completion

January 2000


Engineering, Electronics and Electrical|Engineering, System Science|Computer Science




Since the first commercial apparatus was developed in 1943 for the use of the pulse echo method, ultrasonic material testing has been widely used in material structure analysis, flaw or weld detection, medical imaging, quality control, etc. The method of testing used originally was by scanning the surface of a specimen by hand and observing a cathode ray tube (CRT) screen picture in the form of a horizontal time base with vertical peak (A-scan). The manual task had many limitations in the real time system that motivated many researchers and users to spend effort automating and computerizing the inspection process. ^ The goal of this work is to design and implement state of the art Real Time Ultrasonic Pipe Inspection System. The system should be fast enough to meet the real time constraints, yet accurate enough to find all the anomalies within the pipe and give the exact size and shape of these anomalies (if any is detected). In this work we will provide: (1) an ultrasonic beam profile model that meets the real time requirements, (2) a methodology to slice the anomaly or flaw into parts (strips) to increase the system throughput, (3) new algorithms to track the anomalies or flaws, (4) an investigation of special and critical type of flaws that exist on the inside surface (inner diameter (ID) flaws) and on the outer surface (outer diameter (OD) flaws), (5) an assessment of different architecture implementations. The assessment process will be based on building a hierarchical performance model (HPM) for the system, both the hardware and the software, and estimating different performance parameters such as the average response time and its standard deviation. ^ Furthermore, we have developed the system in a general way such that it can be used in other real time ultrasonic systems. ^