A New Physically Motivated Clutter Model with Applications to Nondestructive Ultrasonic Testing

Document Type


Date of Original Version



In this article, we construct a new physically motivated model for the grain scattering noise (clutter). We assume the clutter is the output of a random linear time-invariant (LTI) filter, the impulse response of which is considered to be a realization of a Gaussian wide sense stationary (WSS) random process, when the transmitted ultrasonic pulse is at the input. In an ultrasonic non-destructive testing (NDT) session, the clutter noise, which is signal-dependent and caused by the microstructure of the material, presents a substantial challenge in identifying defects in the material under testing. The model is used to aid in the detection of a defect in the material. The model incorporates, explicitly, many important physical characteristics of the generated clutter, such as the average grain size, the random shape, and orientation of the grains, and emphasizes the single scatterer assumption (Rayleigh region). The statistical properties of the model are formulated and derived. A comparison with the usual matched filter to indicate the model advantage is performed. An application to real ultrasonic data is conducted with excellent results. Furthermore, we explored the effect of the choice of the model parameters, and the model shows robustness toward parameter misspecification. We then tested the performance under a deviation from the single scatterer assumption, for a more complex target, using simulated noise and obtained promising results.

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control