A primary indicator of weld quality is the size of the bead produced, and for full penetration welds this size parameter can be reduced to the width of the backbead. A method for determining this width in real-time is proposed that measures the natural frequency of pool motion when driven by a time varying arc plasma force. This method is developed analytically and verified experimentally for stationary weld pools. A control system based on this measurement scheme is also developed and simulation results are presented.

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