Active microwave thermography (AMT) is an integrated nondestructive testing (NDT) technique that utilizes a microwave-based thermal excitation and subsequent thermal measurement. AMT has shown potential for applications in the transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace industries. This paper investigates the potential of AMT for detection of defects referred to as flat-bottom holes (FBHs) in composites with high electrical conductivity such as carbon fiber-based composites. Specifically, FBHs of different dimensions machined in a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite sheet are considered. Simulation and measurement results illustrate the potential for AMT as a NDT tool for inspection of CFRP structures. In addition, a dimensional analysis of detectable defects is provided including a radius-to-depth ratio threshold for successful detection.

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