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Focused Array Surface Adapting Technology (FASAT)

Phase array technology has become the standard for many ultrasonic (UT) inspections. The customary approach is to pre-set a limited number of focal laws to achieve the desired beam focus. Examination information is therefore limited by the focal laws and other parameters set at “the front end” of the test. Also, the surface needs to be smooth and geometrically consistent, or the inspection could become too complicated, or unfeasible. With the Focused Array Surface Adapting Technology (FASAT) system, these limitations no longer apply.

As its name implies, FASAT adapts to complex, arbitrary surface changes, delivering complete volumetric inspections with a single scan. What’s more, FASAT digitizes and stores all acquisition data allowing the operator enhanced processing capability without the need to rescan.

The FASAT system is comprised of a UT transducer set mounted within a captive couplant probe. The captive couplant probe is designed to conform to complex surfaces and maintain a leak-controlled, bubble-free sound path between the transducer set and the surface. A surface mapping transducer in the probe is used to accurately plot the surface contour. The probe is passed over the surface of the test part with the aid of a scanner. The UT pulser / receiver instrument, computers and operating software complete the system.

The FASAT instrument controls the pulsing and receiving of every UT transducer element so that all ultrasonic radio frequency (RF) data can be discretely separated and stored. This extremely powerful feature means all data resulting from every possible transmitter-receiver element pairing is recorded, resulting in the storage of all information that can be obtained from a UT inspection; no additional scanning is required for a revised look at the test material.

Real-time focusing through complex surfaces, plus storage of all raw data is made possible through “super” computing power. Acquired data can be manipulated with any desired focal depth, beam angle, or other parameter desired to achieve optimized examination of any location within the test medium. The raw data remain unchanged and available for continued processing and evaluation.