The problem of signal desynchronization in passive imaging based on noise correlation for defect detection in elastic plates is investigated. Although a post-processing resynchronization process relying on the symmetry of noise correlation functions can be applied prior to the imaging algorithm, perfect synchronization might not be achieved experimentally. Effect of such residual synchronization errors on the defect detection performance is quantified as a function of their probability density function. A mathematical regularization process is then proposed to reduce the standard deviation of the resynchronization errors by a factor of N 1 / N (N is the number of sensors), which results in a significant improvement in the detection performance. Finally, these theoretical results are validated through a simple flexural-wave propagation simulation.

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