Phased Array

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Principle of operation

Phase-array.png

The phased array (PA) probe consists of many small elements, each of which can be pulsed separately. In the figure the element on the right is pulsed first, and emits a pressure wave that spreads out like a ripple on a pond (largest semicircle). The second to right element is pulsed next, and emits a ripple that is slightly smaller than the first because it was started later. The process continues down the line until all the elements have been pulsed. The multiple waves add up to one single wave front travelling at a set angle. 

By varying the timing, for instance by pulsing the elements one by one in sequence along a row, a pattern of constructive interference is set up that results in a beam at a set angle. In other words, the beam can be steered electronically.

In some applications the beam is swept like a search-light through the tissue or object being examined, and the data from multiple beams are put together to make a visual image showing a slice through the object.


Standards

Standard Description Links
EN ISO 16018:2009-12 Non destructive testing - Terminology - Terms used in ultrasonic testing with phased arrays
EN ISO 13588:2010-11 Non-destructive testing of welds - Ultrasonic testing - Use of (semi-)automated phased array technology