City Research Online

Comparison of Cooled and Uncooled IR Sensors by Means of Signal-to-Noise Ratio for NDT Diagnostics of Aerospace Grade Composites

Deane, S., Avdelidis, N. P., Ibarra-Castanedo, C. , Zhang, H., Yazdani Nezhad, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-0832-3579, Williamson, A. A., Mackley, T., Maldague, X., Tsourdos, A. & Nooralishahi, P. (2020). Comparison of Cooled and Uncooled IR Sensors by Means of Signal-to-Noise Ratio for NDT Diagnostics of Aerospace Grade Composites. Sensors, 20(12), article number 3381. doi: 10.3390/s20123381


This work aims to address the effectiveness and challenges of non-destructive testing (NDT) by active infrared thermography (IRT) for the inspection of aerospace-grade composite samples and seeks to compare uncooled and cooled thermal cameras using the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as a performance parameter. It focuses on locating impact damages and optimising the results using several signal processing techniques. The work successfully compares both types of cameras using seven different SNR definitions, to understand if a lower-resolution uncooled IR camera can achieve an acceptable NDT standard. Due to most uncooled cameras being small, lightweight, and cheap, they are more accessible to use on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The concept of using a UAV for NDT on a composite wing is explored, and the UAV is also tracked using a localisation system to observe the exact movement in millimetres and how it affects the thermal data. It was observed that an NDT UAV can access difficult areas and, therefore, can be suggested for significant reduction of time and cost.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: active infrared thermography; pulsed thermography; signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); UAV; aircraft-grade composites
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of sensors-20-03381.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (11MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login