Guided Wave Phased Array Plate/Shell Inspection Level 1

Course Overview

IMGP2938This training course provides guided wave inspectors with knowledge and hands-on experience with basic guided wave theory, operation of the guided wave phased array (GWPA) hardware and software, data collection procedures, and basic data analysis for standard plate and shell configurations. The course comprises lectures, in-class data review, hands-on data collection, and independent data review. The course is approximately 1/3 in-class and 2/3 hands-on and data review.


Successful graduates of this course should:

  • have a basic understanding of guided waves in plates and shells and the fundamentals of how the GWPA system works
  • be able to properly operate the hardware and probe, couple the probe to a plate, and carry out a system calibration and data quality check
  • be able to navigate the GWPA software to save and load configuration files, data sets, and phased array images
  • be able to select proper system settings
  • be able to collect synthetic and active beam steering phased array data
  • be able to utilize the built-in analysis tools in the software to analyze both NDT and SHM phased array data
  • understand the basic capabilities and limitations of the technology

Course Topics

  1. Fundamentals
    1. Introduction to guided waves for NDT
    2. Other phased array technologies
  2. The GWPA system
    1. Operation and connection of the hardware components
    2. Navigation and operation of the software
    3. Manufacturer-recommended inspection procedure
  3. Guided Wave Inspection Theory and Concepts
    1. Fundamentals of waves
    2. Bulk wave ultrasound and ultrasonic testing (UT)
    3. Basic guided wave theory in plates and shells
    4. Guided wave phased array beam steering methods in plates and shells
  4. Preliminary Guided Wave Phased Array Data Analysis
    1. Creating sketches of test structures
    2. Data quality check and system settings
    3. Interpreting the phased array image and A-scan waveforms
    4. Setting DAC curves
    5. Identifying sidelobes and other artifacts
    6. Advanced phased array image processing tools
    7. Classifying defects
    8. SHM data processing


This course is intended to provide students with a basic understanding of guided waves in plates and shells, to provide them with the knowledge and tools to follow an inspection procedure to collect high-quality guided wave phased array data, to perform a preliminary analysis of GWPA data, and to provide them with a knowledge of the functionality and operation of the GWPA hardware and software.