Viability of Image Compression in Vibrothermography

X. Chi*, Y. Zhang, D. Di Maio, N. A.J. Lieven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


This research focuses on the verification of the viability of image compression in infrared thermography in order to address the problem of data storage. Specifically, images from vibrothermographic tests were utilized due to their special characteristics compared to the results from alternative infrared thermography techniques, which are able to introduce additional uncertainties to the compression process. In this research, an adaptive algorithm based on the lifting discrete wavelet transform and set-partitioning embedded blocks was used for image compression. Five different methods, namely the compression ratio, mean squared error, peak signal-to-noise ratio, structural similarity index and coordinate modal assurance criterion, were applied to evaluate the performance of the compression process while identifying and locating the regions affected more significantly after image compression. Feature extraction through the independent component analysis was then applied to the images to separate the features such as the hot spots so that the influence from the image compression process on each important feature could be evaluated independently. In this article, the theoretical background of the applied data processing techniques is firstly presented. Through two sets of data acquired from vibrothermographic tests on an aerospace-grade composite plate containing delamination, the effects of the image compression process on the relevant hot spots are evaluated, and the effectiveness of the compression process is verified. It is demonstrated that the compression process was able to reduce the size of the images significantly without adversely affecting the quality of the important features indicating the presence of damage. The major characteristics of the key features have been successfully preserved after effective image compression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-362
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Techniques
Issue number3
Early online date12 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Feature extraction
  • Image compression
  • Infrared thermography
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Vibrothermography
  • Composite material

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