Standard Article

Directed Energy Sensors/Actuators


  1. James L. Blackshire

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm030

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Blackshire, J. L. 2009. Directed Energy Sensors/Actuators. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Air Force Research Laboratory, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Directed energy sensing methods have found increased use as inspection tools over the last several decades. To a large degree, this is due to the abundance of new energy sources and detectors, which span the entire electromagnetic spectrum. In this brief review article, the key underlying principles of directed energy sensing are presented with a special emphasis on recent developments related to material inspections, nondestructive evaluation, and structural health monitoring. For most applications, directed energy approaches are best classified by their wavelength/frequency, which along with incident energy/power levels determines how the directed energy interacts with the material of interest. In keeping with this theme, specific technology examples will be provided for short-wavelength X ray, midwave visible, long-wave infrared, and ultra-long-wave terahertz/microwave inspection approaches. The interested reader is encouraged to refer to the numerous cited articles and books for additional information and details, which are covered in the article.


  • electromagnetic radiation;
  • directed energy;
  • X rays;
  • lasers;
  • infrared;
  • terahertz;
  • microwaves;
  • millimeter-waves