Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Matthew J. Bohn, PhD


Terahertz (THz) time domain spectroscopy (TDS) was assessed as a nondestructive evaluation technique for aircraft composites. Material properties of glass fiber composite were measured using both transmission and reflection configuration. The interaction of THz with a glass fiber composite was then analyzed, including the effects of scattering, absorption, and the index of refraction, as well as effective medium approximations. THz TDS, in both transmission and reflection configuration, was used to study composite damage, including voids, delaminations, mechanical damage, and heat damage. Measurement of the material properties on samples with localized heat damage showed that burning did not change the refractive index or absorption coefficient noticeably; however, material blistering was detected. Voids were located by THz TDS transmission and reflection imaging using amplitude and phase techniques. The depth of delaminations was measured via the timing of Fabry-Perot reflections after the mail pulse. Evidence of bending stress damage and simulated hidden cracks was also detected with terahertz imaging.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number