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The KTP Project- Leading the Research & Development of Flexible Automated Ultrasonic Imaging and Inspection Systems


Peak NDT are currently investigating future MicroPulse Phased Array (PA) instrument concepts and seeks to develop next generation of ultrasonic imaging software development tools for increased commercial deployment. Therefore, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme with the University of Strathclyde is funded to investigate new focal law generators for optimum ultrasonic wave transmission and reception in current and future ultrasonic inspections.

Sumana joined as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate at the University of Strathclyde and Peak NDT Ltd in January 2021. Sumana completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Materials Science from Mangalore University, India 2017. Later, she pursued her integrated M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Engineering from Homi Bhabha National Institute and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, India. Her Ph.D. study was aimed on Total Focusing Method (TFM) and based around PA ultrasonic techniques for the  inspection of thick and attenuating components.


The KTP Project

The aim of this project is to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within Peak NDT and collaboration work at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE), University of Strathclyde. This project creates the pathway to become the ultrasonic inspection software development expert within Peak NDT, in particular by leading the research and development of flexible automated ultrasonic imaging and inspection systems. Sumana’s role is to understand and develop a focal law calculator for planar/nonplanar interface component compensation and inspection using PA ultrasonics and also advanced Non-Planar Interface Imaging. The project also requires investigating establishing ultrasonic wave propagation understanding, knowledge (wave frequency, velocity, refraction and attenuation) and compensation techniques (Focal Law Calculations and Post Processed FMC) in planar and non-planar surfaces and objects through simulation and practical experimental work. A key output of this stage is the initial architecture and development of a Focal Law Calculator.

The KTP project also involves understanding the basic wave propagation properties, design and development of reference standard calibration specimens for consistent quantifiable future Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) studies, investigations and inspections of complex material and geometry.  The properties of critical defects of structural concern in welded joints will be identified and understood with respect to their geometry, size, and orientation. Designs of reference standard complex shape calibration blocks will be proposed, featuring defects of known size, geometry and location. Manufacturing concepts will be investigated and experimental trials to be undertaken. Completed specimens will be both UT NDT inspected and X-Ray CT for benchmarking purposes.


The Approach

Sumana began mainly by focussing on the algorithm development, simulation and LabVIEW coding, specifically in Single Point Focussing, (SPF), Dynamic Depth Focussing (DDF), Beam Steering (BS) and Sectorial Scanning (SC) for different phased array methods. She is responsible for generating focal values for all the above phased array (PA) methods. The role also requires involvement in the development of  MP script files similar to ArrayGen MP script file and the ability to import to ArrayGen software. She carried out various experiments for different PA methods and verified with results of existing ArrayGen. This has led to the development being easier, replicas of existing software being produced and finally, making the instrumentation user friendly.

Sumana also has contributed in various technical support for client based work and integrated strongly into both the University and the company stakeholders challenges.



“I am so glad to have the opportunity to work with Peak NDT Ltd and Department of EEE within the University of Strathclyde. Both have given me the unique opportunity to do R&D work, both from an academic and industry standpoint. Both have shown interest towards my professional development in the field of ultrasonics, despite the challenges that we have all experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

I look forward to continuing to grow my technical knowledge as well as progressing with my personal development over the coming years and make use of this wonderful opportunity that I have to work with such a diverse group of professional people”.


Next Steps

Sumana will continue as KTP Associate for a second year with Peak NDT and University of Strathclyde. The future aim will mainly focused on development of 2D and 3D imaging and using LabVIEW software for nonplanar arbitrary interface and will be implemented into the LTPA and MicroPulse 6 in the later stages of this project.




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