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Heterodyning based portable instrument for eddy currents non destructive testing

Aguiam, D. A. ; Rosado, L. S. ; Ramos, P.M. ; Piedade, M. S.

Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation Vol. 73, Nº 1, pp. 146 - 157, September, 2015.

ISSN (print): 0263-2241
ISSN (online): 0263-2241

Journal Impact Factor: 0,662 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.measurement.2015.05.019

Abstract
The development and implementation of a portable eddy currents testing instrument with heterodyning based measurements is presented in this paper. The instrument is composed by a dedicated electronic measurement circuitry embedded inside a rugged tablet computer for control and visualization and that interfaces a small footprint planar eddy currents probe. A DDS waveform generator and a transconductance amplifier are used to drive the probe current. The probe output voltage is amplified up to 60 dB and down-converted to an intermediary frequency, which is then digitized. IQ demodulation of the digitized signal is used to obtain the real and imaginary components of the probe output and is computed in real time by the embedded digital signal processor and transmitted to the host computer by USB. The eddy currents testing instrument can be operated as a battery powered standalone device with post-processing and visualization capabilities which can be modified for specific applications without the need for hardware modifications. The system architecture, electrical characterization of the analog circuit, digital signal processing and visualization interface are described. The eddy currents inspection results of an aluminum sample with synthetic defects and friction stir welding joint samples, using this instrument are presented.