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Analyzing the Subjectivity of Hole-Type Image Quality Indicators for RadiographyHole-type penetrameters used as image quality indicators (IQIs) for radiography have an inherent degree of subjectivity to their interpretation. The 1T (one times the thickness of the penetrameter) hole is so small, it can be difficult to distinguish from noise. It is suspected that an operator’s knowledge of the true location of the 1T hole may subconsciously influence a false positive identification of the 1T hole when in fact it cannot be discerned. In the case of computed radiography (CR), the size of the phosphor particles may lead to a noise pattern with features on the scale of the 1T hole. Per NASA-STD-5009, the 1T hole must be detected in order to achieve adequate sensitivity. This is based on the historical understanding that this sensitivity will enable detection of the minimum detectable flaw sizes listed in the standard. It’s important to understand if 1T sensitivity is being achieved, and the associated risk if not. This study sought to determine the true detectability of 1T-sized holes in aluminum and Inconel by creating and inspecting a set of penetrameters with randomly placed holes. Enough holes and vacant zones were created to enable a full probability of detection study with 90% detectability, 95% confidence. Testing is ongoing, but preliminary results have shown poor detectability. The detection rate is slightly better for Inconel than aluminum, slightly better using a micro-focus vs. mini-focus tube, and definitively better for film than CR. One of the key questions of this study is whether historical requirements for film are applicable for CR, and these initial findings suggest they may not be. There is also a requirement in the NASA standard for the minimum contrast-to-noise ratio of the hole. The results have shown that this numerical threshold does not correlate well with visual detection. This raises questions about the true nature of detection, in an age of image processing vs. human judgement. As the results indicate that the detection of 1T holes is unreliable, the next challenge will be determining what sensitivity is really achieved, and what is needed.
Document ID
Document Type
Erin Lanigan
(Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
Date Acquired
September 14, 2021
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Meeting Information
The 13th International Symposium on NDT in Aerospace(Williamsburg, VA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 817091.40.22.62
Distribution Limits
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
Technical Review
NASA Peer Committee
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