The technique of ultrasonic leak detection through sensors mounted on the skin of a spacecraft or space station sounds good until the structures being monitored become more complex than a single sheet of aluminum. Then, resolving ambiguities from reflections and localizing the exact point of leakage may become difficult. Perhaps a portable device, with four or more transducers, could be pressed against a section of the hull to listen for the same ultrasonic hiss described here.
Mike Bushroe Tucson, Ariz.
From the Nature Index
Subscribers, enter your e-mail address for full access to the Science News archives and digital editions.