An ultrasonic probe deployment device in which an ultrasound-transmitting liquid forms the portion of the ultrasonic wave path in contact with the surface being inspected (i.e., the inspection surface). A seal constrains flow of the liquid, for example preventing the liquid from surging out and flooding the inspection surface. The seal is not rigid and conforms to variations in the shape and unevenness of the inspection surface, thus forming a seal (although possibly a leaky seal) around the liquid. The probe preferably is held in place to produce optimum ultrasonic focus on the area of interest. Use of encoders can facilitate the production of C-scan area maps of the material being inspected.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.