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Terahertz time domain spectroscopy (TDS) was assessed as a nondestructive evaluation technique for aircraft composites. Damage to glass fiber was studied 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 TDS transmissive imaging using amplitude and phase techniques. The depth of delaminations was measured via the timing of Fabry-Perot reflections after the main pulse. Evidence of bending stress damage and simulated hidden cracks was also detected with terahertz imaging.


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Optics Express