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Opt Express. 2012 Nov 5;20(23):25798-816. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.025798.

Hadamard multiplexing in laser ultrasonics.

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  • 1National Research Council Canada, 75 de Mortagne Boulevard, Boucherville, QC, J4B 6Y4, Canada.


In state-of-the-art laser ultrasonics (LU), the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is limited by the shot noise of the detected laser radiation. Further improving the SNR then requires averaging multiple signals or increasing generation and/or detection laser intensities. The former strategy is time consuming and the latter leads to surface damages. For signal-independent limiting noises, Hadamard multiplexing increases the SNR by averaging multiple signals in parallel using a single detector. Here we consider the use of Hadamard multiplexing in LU for the non-contact ultrasonic inspection of materials. By using 31 element Hadamard masks to modulate the spatial intensity distribution of the generation laser beam, the measured SNR is improved by a factor 2.8, in good agreement with the expected multiplexing or Fellgett advantage. In contrast to many other applications of Hadamard multiplexing, the SNR is improved for shot-noise-limited measurements since the shot noise level is independent of the signal in LU. The Hadamard multiplexing of the detection laser beam is also considered but can only lead to a throughput or Jacquinot advantage. However, for pulse-echo LU, the Hadamard multiplexing of both generation and detection laser beams allows using the synthetic aperture focusing technique (SAFT).

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