Phased array for high speed inspection

The most common high speed inspections are for plate, bar and tube. System providers are often asked to meet challenging requirements in terms of inspection speed.

With the SOCOSWIFT+ you can meet the most demanding specification thanks to the fastest Scanning Mode available on the market. In fact with this phased array instrument you can process 64 virtual apertures in parallel !

Read below to discover the different methods and application where this parallel data processing becomes a big advantage.

Titanium plate inspection with SOCOSWIFT

Electronic Scanning

First, a brief description of electronic scanning using a phased array instruments as this is the most commonly used technic for high speed inspections.

The same focal law  is multiplexed across a group of active elements and the scanning is performed along the phased array probe length (aperture).

This is equivalent to a conventional ultrasonic transducer performing a raster scan for corrosion mapping.

electronic scanning


The multi beam technic is very interesting for tube or bar inspection because it allows you to decrease the number of scans needed to cover your probe's full aperture or required angles.

Multi-Beam is an electronic scanning but instead of generating only one virtual aperture (or beam) you can fire on multiple virtual aperture in parallel.

Multi Beam with PA probe_605b85efb34a4.png

This technic allows you to divide the total scanning time by as much as the number of virtual apertures (beams) within your shot.

Paintbrush parallel data processing

This technic is the best one to use when you are inspecting plates with the SOCOSWIFT+ because you can benefit from its real-time parallel data processing

The Paintbrush method consists of firing all the elements of the array simultaneously without any delay laws generating a large plane wavefront.

Then you can receive on all the elements simultaneously (organized in several virtual apertures) if you are using an instrument with a parallel architecture.

Paintbrush with parallel data processing

When using the SOCOSWIFT+ the Paintbrush technic becomes even better as you have the ability to process in real-time and in parallel a lot of virtual aperture (up to 64).

You can add virtual apertures with various apertures matched with depth. Massive parallel processing will increase your productivity in addition to enhanced inspection quality.

You will see below the comparison in terms of inspection time (number of sequences) when you are processing in real-time and parallel 4 or 64 virtual apertures .

Paintbrush phased array inspection with 4 apertures in parrallel

4 apertures Paintbrush with parallel data processi_605b86137af81.png

We can see that the total inspection time for 1 cycle is 1200µs because you have to post-process sequentially all your 64 virtual apertures 4 by 4. It means you can have a PRF of 833Hz.

SOCOSWIFT + high speed inspection with 64 apertures in parallel

64 apertures Paintbrush with parallel data processi_605b86244a122.png

In that case you can process in real-time and in parallel all your virtual apertures and your inspection time for 1 cycle is 170µs. it means that you can have a PRF of 5.833 Hz.

A feature of this instrument we often forget to mention is the possibility to have (in parallel and in real time as well) an overlapping between your 64 virtual apertures reducing the number of sequences needed to cover the complete inspection area.

Obviously the advantage of the Paintbrush technic combined with the SOCOSWIFT+ capabilities it to increase drastically your productivity.

When we are talking about in-line inspection it is what matters the most.

You can see on both videos the scanning of an Aluminum block with the Paintbrush technic.

We used a SOCOSWIFT+ instrument with a 128/128 parallel architecture to detect 1.2mm FBH in 152mm depth with a linear speed of 700mm/seconds.


As usual Socomate is providing its phased array electronics as open platform products with a complete SDK so you can create and customize as much as you want your application or interface software through our DLL.