0
Research Papers

On the Use of Ultrasound-Based Technology for Cargo Inspection

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuri Álvarez-López

Área de Teoría de la Señal y Comunicaciones,
Universidad de Oviedo,
Edificio Polivalente,
Mod. 8, 8.1.02. Campus Universitario de Gijón,
Gijón 33203, Spain
e-mail: yalopez.tsc@gmail.com

José A. Martínez-Lorenzo

Department of Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering,
Northeastern University,
211 Snell Engineering Center,
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: j.martinez-lorenzo@neu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Noise Control and Acoustics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF VIBRATION AND ACOUSTICS. Manuscript received July 3, 2015; final manuscript received January 18, 2016; published online April 7, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Nicole Kessissoglou.

J. Vib. Acoust 138(3), 031009 (Apr 07, 2016) (13 pages) Paper No: VIB-15-1247; doi: 10.1115/1.4032724 History: Received July 03, 2015; Revised January 18, 2016

A new guided wave imaging application for fast, low-cost ultrasound-based cargo scanning system is proposed. The ultimate goal is the detection of high-atomic-number, shielding containers used to diminish the radiological signature of nuclear threats. This ultrasonic technology has the potential to complement currently deployed X-ray-based radiographic systems, thus enhancing the probability of detecting nuclear threats. An array of ultrasonic transceivers can be attached to the metallic structure of the cargo to create a guided Lamb wave. Guided medium thickness and composition variation creates reflections whose placement can be revealed by means of an imaging algorithm. The knowledge of the reflection position provides information about the shielding metallic container location inside the cargo. Moreover, due to the low coupling between metallic and nonmetallic surfaces, only the footprint of metallic containers shows up in the imaging results, thus avoiding false positives from plastic or wooden assets. As imaging capabilities are degraded if working with dispersive Lamb wave modes, the operating frequency is tuned to provide a tradeoff between low dispersion and real-time image resolution. Reflected waves in the guided domain bounds may limit the performance of imaging methods for guided media. This contribution proposes a solution based on real-time Fourier domain analysis, where plane wave components can be filtered out, thus removing nondesired contributions from bounds. Several realistic examples, scaled due to limited calculation capabilities of the available computational resources, are presented in this work, showing the feasibility of the proposed method.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Medalia, J. , 2010, Detection of Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Science, Technologies, Observations, DIANE Publishing, Collingdale, PA.
Chang, C. L. , He, M. , and Nguyen, M. H. , 2010, “ Computational Model for Automatic Cargo Container Inspection Systems,” IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), Waltham, MA, Nov. 8–10, pp. 556–561.
European Commission—Customs 2002, “ Chapter 3—Container Specifications,” Good Practice Guide.
Rock-It Cargo, 2009, “Air Container Specifications,” Rock-It Cargo, London, accessed Nov. 25, 2015, http://www.rockitcargo.com/uploads/AirContainerSpecs.pdf
Avramides, A. , and Henstock, P. , 1995, “ Air Cargo Containers,” U.S. Patent No. 5,398,831.
Hall, J. S. , Fromme, P. , and Michaels, J. E. , 2011, “ Ultrasonic Guided Wave Imaging for Damage Characterization,” 2011 Aircraft Airworthiness and Sustainment Conference (AA&S), San Diego, CA, Apr. 17–21.
Michaels, J. E. , 2008, “ Detection, Localization and Characterization of Damage in Plates With an In Situ Array of Spatially Distributed Ultrasonic Sensors,” Smart Mater. Struct., 17(3), p. 035035. [CrossRef]
Ros, K. , and Fink, M. , 2001, “ Ultrasonic Imaging Using Spatio-Temporal Matched Field (STMF) Processing—Applications to Liquid and Solid Waveguides,” IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, Freq. Control, 48(2), pp. 374–386. [CrossRef]
Martinez-Lorenzo, J. A. , and Alvarez-Lopez, Y. , 2014, “ An Ultrasonic Approach for Sensing and Imaging Shielding Containers of Nuclear Threats,” ASME Paper No. DSCC2014-6183.
Knab, L. J. , Blessing, G. V. , and Clifton, J. R. , 1983, “ Laboratory Evaluation of Ultrasonics for Crack Detection in Concrete,” Am. Concr. Inst. J. Proc., 80(1), pp. 17–23.
Cawley, P. , 2003, “ Practical Long Range Guided Wave Inspection—Applications to Pipes and Rail,” Second Middle East Nondestructive Testing Conference and Exhibition, Jubai Industrial City, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 8–10.
Mohr, W. , and Holler, P. , 1976, “ On Inspection of Thin-Walled Tubes for Transverse and Longitudinal Flaws by Guided Ultrasonic Waves,” IEEE Trans. Sonics Ultrasonics, 23(5), pp. 369–373. [CrossRef]
Salzburger, H. J. , Dobmann, G. , and Mohrbacher, H. , 2001, “ Quality Control of Laser Welds of Tailored Blanks Using Guided Waves and EMATs,” IEEE Proc. Sci. Meas. Technol., 148(4), pp. 143–148. [CrossRef]
Rose, J. L. , and Soley, L. , 2000, “ Ultrasonic Guided Waves for Anomaly Detection in Aircraft Components,” Mater. Eval., 58(9), pp. 1080–1086.
Chang, F. H. , Drake, T. E. , Osterkamp, M. A. , Prowant, R. S. , Monchalin, J. P. , Heon, R. , Bouchard, P. , Padioleau, C. , Froom, D. A. , Frazier, W. , and Barton, J. , 1993, “ Laser Ultrasonic Inspection of Honeycomb Aircraft Structures,” Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, pp. 611–616.
Ahuja, A. T. , Griffith, J. F. , Wong, K. T. , Antonio, G. E. , Chu, W. C. , and Ho, S. S. , 2007, Diagnostic Imaging: Ultrasound, 1st ed., AMIRSYS Publishing, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT.
Rose, J. L. , 1999, Ultrasonic Waves in Solid Media, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Fromme, P. , and Sayir, M. B. , 2002, “ Detection of Cracks at Rivet Holes Using Guided Waves,” Ultrasonics, 40(1), pp. 199–203. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Guo, N. , and Cawley, P. , 1993, “ The Interaction of Lamb Waves With Delaminations in Composite Laminates,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 94(4), pp. 2240–2246. [CrossRef]
Harley, J. B. , and Moura, J. M. F. , 2013, “ Sparse Recovery of the Multimodal and Dispersive Characteristics of Lamb Waves,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 133(5), pp. 2732–2745. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Harley, J. B. , and Moura, J. M. F. , 2014, “ Data-Driven Matched Field Processing for Lamb Wave Structural Health Monitoring,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 135(3), pp. 1231–1244. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Alleyne, D. N. , and Cawley, P. , 1992, “ The Interaction of Lamb Waves With Defects,” IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, Freq. Control, 39(3), pp. 381–397. [CrossRef]
Eisenhardt, C. , Jacobs, L. J. , and Qu, J. , 1999, “ Application of Laser Ultrasonics to Develop Dispersion Curves for Elastic Plates,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 66(4), pp. 1043–1045. [CrossRef]
Rogge, M. D. , and Leckey, C. A. , 2013, “ Characterization of Impact Damage in Composite Laminates Using Guided Wavefield Imaging and Local Wavenumber Domain Analysis,” Ultrasonics, 53(7), pp. 1217–1226. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Yu, L. , Tian, Z. , and Leckey, C. A. , 2015, “ Crack Imaging and Quantification in Aluminum Plates with Guided Wave Wavenumber Analysis Methods,” Ultrasonics, 62, pp. 203–212. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Norton, S. J. , and Linzer, M. , 1981, “ Ultrasonic Reflectivity Imaging in Three Dimensions: Exact Inverse Scattering Solutions for Plane, Cylindrical, and Spherical Apertures,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng., 28(2), pp. 201–220.
Mayer, K. , Marklein, R. , Langenberg, K. J. , and Kreutter, T. , 1990, “ Three-Dimensional Imaging System Based on Fourier Transform Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique,” Ultrasonics, 28(4), pp. 241–255. [CrossRef]
Ditri, J. J. , and Rajana, K. M. , 1995, “ Analysis of the Wedge Method of Generating Guided Waves,” Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, Springer, New York, pp. 163–170.
Luo, W. , and Rose, J. L. , 2004, “ Lamb Wave Thickness Measurement Potential With Angle Beam and Normal Beam Excitation,” Mater. Eval., 62(8), pp. 860–866.
Castaings, M. , and Cawley, P. , 1996, “ The Generation, Propagation, and Detection of Lamb Waves in Plates Using Air-Coupled Ultrasonic Transducers,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 100(5), pp. 3070–3077. [CrossRef]
Guo, Z. , Achenbach, J. D. , and Krishnaswamy, S. , 1997, “ EMAT Generation and Laser Detection of Single Lamb Wave Modes,” Ultrasonics, 35(6), pp. 423–429. [CrossRef]
Dixon, S. , Edwards, C. , and Palmer, S. B. , 2003, “ The Optimization of Lamb and Rayleigh Wave Generation Using Wideband-Low-Frequency EMATs,” Rev. Prog. Quant. Nondestructive Eval., 20(A&B), pp. 297–304.
COMSOL, 2016, “Comsol Multiphysics,” Comsol Inc., Burlington, MA, accessed Sept. 5, 2015, www.comsol.com
Hora, P. , and Červená, O. , 2012, “ Determination of Lamb Wave Dispersion Curves by Means of Fourier Transform,” Appl. Comput. Mech., 6(1), pp. 5–16.
Johnson, J. A. , Karaman, M. , and Khuri-Yakub, B. T. , 2005, “ Coherent-Array Imaging Using Phased Subarrays. Part I: Basic Principles,” IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, Freq. Control, 52(1), pp. 37–50. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Two examples of cargo containers with a metallic base plate, the second having a shielded camouflaged compartment that can be used for concealing goods or radioactive threats. Cargo schemes extracted from Ref. [4].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

General layout for ultrasound imaging applied to cargo inspection. Ultrasonic units are placed at inspected cargo sides, each formed by one transmitter and an array of receivers. Ultrasound images are created as the cargo moves across the scanning point. The whole ultrasonic image of the base plate is created by combining images retrieved at every cargo position.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Ultrasound imaging setup for detecting the footprint of objects place on a metallic plate. A point sourcelike transmitter is placed at (xTx, yTx). Receiving sensors are located at (x, yobs). (x′, y′) is the point where the reflectivity is evaluated.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Observed displacement representation in the Fourier domain. (a) Before filtering: dashed lines represent the limits of the filtered domain, defined by angle α = ±5 deg. (b) After filtering. Both kx, ky space (upper row of plots) and kx-frequency (lower row) representations are depicted.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Setup for the first simulation example. Several transmitting and receiving layouts (numbered from I–III) are considered. Units in cm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Time-range ((a1)–(d1)) and frequency–wavenumber responses ((a2)–(d2)) recorded at x = 40 cm. Excitation tone burst: (a) 50 kHz, (b) 100 kHz, (c) 200 kHz, and (d) 400 kHz.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Time-range ((a1)–(d1)) and frequency–wavenumber responses ((a1)–(d1)) recorded at x = 22 cm. Excitation tone burst: (a) 50 kHz, (b) 100 kHz, (c) 200 kHz, and (d) 400 kHz.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Layout I, (a) recorded displacement along yobs = 0 m line: time-cross range response. (b) Displacement in the k-space domain. (c) Backpropagated displacement in the imaging domain.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Layout I, recovered displacement as a function of the separation between receiving array elements, Δx. (a) Δx = 1 cm, (b) Δx = 2 cm, (c) Δx = 5 cm, and (d) Δx = 10 cm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Layout II, single transmitter placed at xTx = 25 cm. (a) Recorded displacement along yobs = 0 m line: time-cross range response. (b) Displacement in the k-space domain. (c) Backpropagated displacement in the imaging domain. (d) Displacement in the k-space domain after filtering with α = 5 deg. (e) Backpropagated displacement in the imaging domain after filtering with α = 5 deg. (f) Comparison of the nonfiltered and filtered displacements for x = 25 cm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Layout II, single transmitter placed at xTx = 30 cm. Comparison for different filtering angles α: ((a) and (b)) no filtering. ((c) and (d)) Filtering angle α = 40 deg. ((e) and (f)) Filtering angle α = 5 deg. Left column plots represent the displacement in the k-space after filtering. Right column plots represent the backpropagated displacement in the imaging domain.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Layout II, multiple transmitters evenly spaced every 5 cm in the y = 0 axis. Imaging results for every transmitter are masked with L = 5 cm width mask centered on the corresponding transmitter.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Imaging results for layout III, receiving array of length LRx, with a point transmitter placed in the center. The transmitter and the receiving array are displaced in 5 cm-steps. (a) LRx = 10 cm, (b) LRx = 20 cm, and (c) LRx = 40 cm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Phased array analysis of layouts I, II, and III. Comatrix and coarray representation [35]. Co array is an indicator of the effective aperture of the system.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Imaging results for: (a) no box on top of the steel plate, (b) wooden box, (c) aluminum box, and (d) lead box. Transmitting and receiving layout I is considered.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Setup for the second simulation example. Transmitting and receiving layout I is considered (units in cm).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Imaging results for the second simulation example (setup depicted in Fig. 16) consisting of a closed metallic container with a metallic box in it

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Setup for the third simulation example. Transmitting and receiving layout I is considered. Colors indicate the composition of each asset.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Imaging results for the third simulation example (setup depicted in Fig. 18) consisting of a closed metallic container with several assets in it. Solid lines indicate the true footprint and the material of each asset.

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In