This paper presents a multi-grid architecture for tomography-based damage mapping of composite aerospace structures. The system employs an array of piezo-electric transducers bonded on the structure. Each transducer may be used as an actuator as well as a sensor. The structure is excited sequentially using the actuators and the guided waves arriving at the sensors in response to the excitations are recorded for further analysis. The sensor signals are compared to their baseline counterparts and a damage index is computed for each actuator-sensor pair. These damage indices are then used as inputs to the tomographic reconstruction system. Preliminary damage maps are reconstructed on multiple coordinate grids defined on the structure. These grids are shifted versions of each other where the shift is a fraction of the spatial sampling interval associated with each grid. These preliminary damage maps are then combined to provide a reconstruction that is more robust to measurement noise in the sensor signals and the ill-conditioned problem formulation for single-grid algorithms. Experimental results on a composite structure with complexity that is representative of aerospace structures included in the paper demonstrate that for sufficiently high sensor densities, the algorithm of this paper is capable of providing damage detection and characterization with accuracy comparable to traditional C-scan and A-scan-based ultrasound non-destructive inspection systems quickly and without human supervision.

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