Automatic detecting and classifying defects during eddy current inspection of riveted lap-joints
ABSTRACT This article presents a novel method for automatic detection and classification of cracks located in the second lower layer of the aircraft lap-joints during Eddy Current (EC) inspection. The cracks originating from the rivet holes were detected using a tailor-made deep penetrating EC probe. The proposed method consists of three steps: pre-processing, feature extraction and classification. The pre-processing, performed before the feature extraction included median filtering, rotation and de-biasing of the EC patterns. The rotation of the patterns was performed so that energy of the responses to the rivets was maximized along the quadrature direction, while the defect responses were maximized in the in-phase direction in the impedance plane. Feature extraction was then performed using four different methods: discrete wavelet transform, Fourier descriptors, principal component analysis (PCA) and block mean values. The classification was performed using a standard multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network. All the pre-processing methods showed similar classification performance on the used data set, but the PCA method compressed the data best.