Abstract

Generating and detecting ultrasound is a standard method of nondestructive evaluation of materials. Pulsed lasers are used to generate ultrasound remotely in situations that prohibit the use of contact transducers. The scanning rate is limited by the repetition rates of the pulsed lasers, ranging between 10 and 100 Hz for lasers with sufficient pulse widths and energies. Alternately, a high-power continuous-wave laser can be scanned across the surface, creating an ultrasonic wavefront. Since generation is continuous, the scanning rate can be as much as 4 orders of magnitude higher than with pulsed lasers. This paper introduces the concept, comparing the theoretical scanning speed with generation by pulsed laser.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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