One of the key issues in the fight against the smuggling of goods has been the development of scanners for cargo inspection. X-ray-based radiographic system scanners are the most developed sensing modality. However, they are costly and use bulky sources that emit hazardous, ionizing radiation. Aiming to improve the probability of threat detection, an ultrasonic-based technique, capable of detecting the footprint of metallic containers or compartments concealed within the metallic structure of the inspected cargo, has been proposed. The system consists of an array of acoustic transceivers that is attached to the metallic structure-under-inspection, creating a guided acoustic Lamb wave. Reflections due to discontinuities are detected in the images, provided by an imaging algorithm. Taking into consideration that the majority of those images are sparse, this contribution analyzes the application of Compressed Sensing (CS) techniques in order to reduce the amount of measurements needed, thus achieving faster scanning, without compromising the detection capabilities of the system. A parametric study of the image quality, as a function of the samples needed in spatial and frequency domains, is presented, as well as the dependence on the sampling pattern. For this purpose, realistic cargo inspection scenarios have been simulated.
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