Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Yu-Ming Zhang


An innovative auxiliary control system is developed to cooperate with an unskilled welder in a manual GTAW in order to obtain a consistent welding performance. In the proposed system, a novel mobile sensing system is developed to non-intrusively monitor a manual GTAW by measuring three-dimensional (3D) weld pool surface. Specifically, a miniature structured-light laser amounted on torch projects a dot matrix pattern on weld pool surface during the process; Reflected by the weld pool surface, the laser pattern is intercepted by and imaged on the helmet glass, and recorded by a compact camera on it. Deformed reflection pattern contains the geometry information of weld pool, thus is utilized to reconstruct its $3$D surface. An innovative image processing algorithm and a reconstruction scheme have been developed for (3D) reconstruction.

The real-time spatial relations of the torch and the helmet is formulated during welding. Two miniature wireless inertial measurement units (WIMU) are mounted on the torch and the helmet, respectively, to detect their rotation rates and accelerations. A quaternion based unscented Kalman filter (UKF) has been designed to estimate the helmet/torch orientations based on the data from the WIMUs. The distance between the torch and the helmet is measured using an extra structure-light low power laser pattern.

Furthermore, human welder's behavior in welding performance has been studied, e.g., a welder`s adjustments on welding current were modeled as response to characteristic parameters of the three-dimensional weld pool surface. This response model as a controller is implemented both automatic and manual gas tungsten arc welding process to maintain a consistent full penetration.