A novel laser-based duffing oscillator system to identify weak ultrasonic guided wave signals related to rail defects

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number107111
Journal / PublicationOptics and Lasers in Engineering
Online published24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


Laser-generated Rayleigh wave is a promising candidate for noncontact and remote inspection of railway as it can inspect in line-to-line fashion. Attribute to the recent advancement of optical design, wavelength of the laser generated-Rayleigh wave can be controlled at desired frequency band. By adjusting the wavelength of the Rayleigh wave, detection of defect occurred at different depths in rail become possible. Internal and subsurface defects that occur beneath the surface of railhead usually only reflect very small portion of wave energy hence accurate determination of their presences becomes challenging. Besides, such reflected-defect signal is usually contaminated with strong random noise which further hinder identification of weak reflected-defect signal. This study presents a novel method for detection of surface, subsurface and internal defects in railhead using laser-generated Rayleigh wave and chaotic oscillator. The use of laser-generated Rayleigh wave provides a fast mean to assess the health condition of railhead without the need to physically mounting sensor on the specimen. The use of chaotic oscillator can accurately reveal wave signal that is related to defect occurred in railhead. The effectiveness of the proposed method has been verified using numerical simulation model. Three rail specimens were machined with internal, subsurface and surface-breaking defects respectively. Experimental results revealed that the proposed method can accurately and reliably reveal the presence of reflected-defect signal under strong random noise conditions. The present study also shows that the proposed system is promising in revealing hazardous defects occurred on rail track.

Research Area(s)

  • Rayleigh wave, Optical laser system, Noncontact inspection system, Nondestructive testing and evaluation, Guided wave technology, Chaotic oscillator