Method and apparatus for using a guided wave to determine the location of one or more flaws in an inspected object are disclosed. An ultrasonic guided wave is launched into the object using conventional ultrasound methods, and the reflected/received guided wave is sampled to capture a series of individual reflected waveforms. The individual reflected waveforms are then partitioned according to the sampling time. Each of the partitioned acquired waveforms is compared with a selected time-varying dispersion-modeled reference waveform associated with the unique geometry of the inspected object, a multiplicity of "theoretical" flaw locations, and the characteristics of the original ultrasonic guided wave. To make a comparison, the reference waveform is also generated as a series of partitioned waveforms which model the shape of a wave that may be expected to be reflected from a multiplicity of theoretical flaws located in the object. The shape of the reflected waveforms is correlated with the shape of the reference waveforms, and a high level of correlation indicates the presence of a real flaw at the theoretical flaw location.
James A. Sills; Christian J. Schwartz