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Ultrasonic Flaw Detection Tutorial

3.3 Digital Signal Processing

Most modern ultrasonic flaw detectors incorporate digital rather than analog signal processing. While some older analog instruments are still in use, microprocessor-based digital processing is now the industry standard for portable flaw detectors. Its major advantages include:

  • Precision and repeatability of test setups, which can be stored for quick recall
  • Stability of horizontal and vertical linearity (no drift with time or temperature)
  • Digital precision in measurement of amplitude and depth/distance, including trigonometric calculations in angle beam testing
  • Digital filtering can improve near surface resolution and signal-to-noise in high gain applications
  • Waveform freeze, peak memory, and zoom functions for easier analysis
  • Fast and reliable implementation of sizing techniques such as DAC, TVG, and DGS
  • Datalogger software for storage of screen displays and measurements in internal memory or on removable storage cards
  • USB interface for offloading test data to computers for storage and further analysis

The potential advantage of analog processing in some cases is faster screen refresh and/or data acquisition rates.

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