Application of ultrasonic guided waves to robotic occupancy grid mapping

M. Tabatabaeipour, O. Trushkevych, G. Dobie, R.S. Edwards, R. McMillan, C. Macleod, R. O'Leary, Steve Dixon, A. Gachagan, S.G. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper evaluates the benefits of using ultrasonic guided waves for the mapping of a structure, when implemented on a mobile magnetic robotic platform. It considers the specific problem of mapping geometric features using the guided ultrasonic waves, which enables the localisation of edges and/or the welded joints. Shear Horizontal (SH) guided waves generated by Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs) are used for mapping steel samples with a nominal thickness of 10 mm. A Bayesian mapping technique (Occupancy grid mapping) was used to map the boundaries of an irregular sample in a pseudo-pulse-echo mode. The principle is demonstrated in both simulation and laboratory-based experiments. It is shown that the proposed mapping algorithm successfully estimates the position of a sample’s edges. Experimentally, a range accuracy of < 1.7 mm (1 ) was achieved on a 1 × 2 m sample using miniaturised EMATs operating at a wavelength of 22 mm.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108151
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Jan 2022


  • Automated non-destructive evaluation
  • Guided waves
  • Occupancy grid mapping
  • Shear horizontal waves
  • Ultrasonics


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