In this study, a guided wave phased array beamsteering approach is applied to composite laminates. Current beamsteering algorithms derived for isotropic materials assume omnidirectional wave propagation. Due to inherent anisotropy in composites, guided wave propagation varies with direction and wavefronts no longer have perfect circular shapes.
By examining slowness, velocity and wave curves for a given composite laminate, the wavefront from a single source can be described as a function of the angle of propagation and distance from origin. Using this approach, a generic delay and sum beamforming algorithm for composite laminates is developed for any desired wave mode.
It is shown that anisotropic wave mode regions can be effectively used for beamsteering in certain directions with a linear array and performance similar or even better than isotropic case. However, the useful range of angles with a 1d linear array for anisotropic wave modes is quite small and other directions exhibit undesired grating lobes and large sidelobes.