Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Applied Science


Mark K Hinders


A novel ultrasonic signal detection and characterization technique is presented in this dissertation. The basic tool is a simplified time-frequency (scale) projection which is called a dynamic wavelet fingerprint. Take advantage of the matched filter and adaptive time-frequency analysis properties of the wavelet transform, the dynamic wavelet fingerprint is a coupled approach of detection and recognition. Different from traditional value-based approaches, the dynamic wavelet fingerprint based technique is pattern or knowledge based. It is intuitive and self-explanatory, which enables the direct observation of the variation of non-stationary ultrasonic signals, even in complex environments. Due to this transparent property, efficient detection and characterization algorithms can be customized to address specific problems. Furthermore, artificial intelligence can be integrated and expert systems can be developed based on it.;Several practical ultrasonic applications were used to evaluate the feasibility and performance of this technique. The first application was ultrasonic materials sorting. Dynamic wavelet fingerprints of echoes from the surface of different plates were generated and then used to successfully identify corresponding plates.;The second application was ultrasonic periodontal probing. The dynamic wavelet fingerprint technique was used to expose the hidden trend of the complex waveforms. Taking the manual probing data as "gold standard", a 40% agreement ratio was achieved with a tolerance limit of 1mm. However, statistically, lack of agreement was found in terms of the "limits of agreement" of Bland and Altman.;The third application was multi-mode Lamb wave tomography. The dynamic wavelet fingerprint technique was used to extract arrival times of transmitted Lamb wave modes. The overall quality of the estimated arrival times was acceptable in terms of their regular distributions and discernable variation patterns that correspond to specific defects. The tomographic images generated from estimated arrival times were also fine enough to indicate different defects in aluminum plates.;The last application was ultrasonic thin multi-layers inspection. High precision and robustness of a dynamic wavelet fingerprint based algorithm was demonstrated by processing simulated ultrasonic signals. When applied to practical data obtained from a plastic encapsulated IC package, multiple interfaces in the package were successfully detected.



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