A new guided wave imaging application for fast, low-cost ultrasound-based cargo scanning system is proposed. The ultimate goal is the detection of high-atomic-number, shielding containers used to diminish the radiological signature of nuclear threats. This ultrasonic technology has the potential to complement currently deployed X-ray-based radiographic systems, thus enhancing the probability of detecting nuclear threats. An array of ultrasonic transceivers can be attached to the metallic structure of the cargo to create a guided Lamb wave. Guided medium thickness and composition variation creates reflections whose placement can be revealed by means of an imaging algorithm. The knowledge of the reflection position provides information about the shielding metallic container location inside the cargo. Moreover, due to the low coupling between metallic and nonmetallic surfaces, only the footprint of metallic containers shows up in the imaging results, thus avoiding false positives from plastic or wooden assets. As imaging capabilities are degraded if working with dispersive Lamb wave modes, the operating frequency is tuned to provide a tradeoff between low dispersion and real-time image resolution. Reflected waves in the guided domain bounds may limit the performance of imaging methods for guided media. This contribution proposes a solution based on real-time Fourier domain analysis, where plane wave components can be filtered out, thus removing nondesired contributions from bounds. Several realistic examples, scaled due to limited calculation capabilities of the available computational resources, are presented in this work, showing the feasibility of the proposed method.

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