A reverse time migration-based multistep angular spectrum approach for ultrasonic imaging of specimens with irregular surfaces

Xiongbin Yang, Kai Wang, Yanfeng Xu, Lei Xu, Wenxiang Hu, Hao Wang, Zhongqing Su

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a new ultrasonic imaging framework for non-destructive testing of an immersed specimen featuring an irregular top surface and demonstrate its capability of accurately depicting the lower surfaces of multiple damages hidden in the specimen. Central to the framework is a multistep angular spectrum approach (ASA), via which the forward propagation wavefields of wave sources and backward propagation wavefields of the received wave signals are calculated. Upon applying a zero-lag cross-correlation imaging condition of reverse time migration (RTM) to the obtained forward and backward wavefields, the image of the specimen with an irregular surface can be reconstructed, in which hidden damages, if any and regardless of quantity, are visualized. The effectiveness and accuracy of the framework are examined using numerical simulation, followed with experiment, in both of which multiple side-drilled holes, at different locations in aluminum blocks with various irregular surfaces, are characterized. Results have proven that multiple damages in a specimen with an irregular surface can be individually localized, and the lower surface of each damage can further be imaged accurately, thanks to the RTM-based algorithm in which multiple wave reflections from the specimen bottom are taken into wavefield extrapolation. The proposed imaging approach presents higher computational efficiency, compared to conventional RTM, and enhanced imaging contrast over prevailing total focusing methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106233
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Angular spectrum approach (ASA)
  • Irregular surface
  • Nondestructive testing (NDT)
  • Reverse time migration (RTM)
  • Ultrasonic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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