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(A new time of flight) Acoustic flow meter using wide band signals and adaptive beamforming techniques

Abstract : In this paper we present the result of our research concerning the improvement ofacoustic time of flight flow metering for water pipes. Current flow meters are based on theestimation of direct time of flight by matched filtering of the received and emitted signals byacoustic transducers. Currently, narrow band signals are used, as well as a single emitter/receptortransducer configuration. Although simple, this configuration presents a series of limitationssuch as energy losses due to pipe wall/water interface, pressure/flow transients, sensitivity toflow induced vibrations, acoustic beam deformations and shift due to changes in flow velocityand embedded turbulence in the flow. The errors associated with these limitations reduce theoverall robustness of existing flow meters, as well as the measured flow rate range and loweraccuracy. In order to overcome these limitations, two major innovations were implemented atthe signal processing level. The first one concerns the use of wide band signals that optimise thepower transfer throughout the acoustic path and also increase the number of velocity/flowreadings per second. Using wide band signals having a high duration-bandwidth productincreases the precision in terms of time of flight measurements and, in the same time, improvesthe system robustness. The second contribution consists in the use of a multiple emitter – multiple receivers configuration (for one path) in order to compensate the emitted acoustic beamshift, compensate the time of flight estimation errors and thus increase the flow meter’srobustness in case of undesired effects such as the “flow blow” and transient/rapid flowrate/velocity changes. Using a new signal processing algorithm that take advantage of thecontrolled wide band content coming from multiple receivers, the new flow meters achieves ahigher accuracy in terms of flow velocity over a wider velocity range than existing systems.Tests carried out on real scale experimental facility showed an increase in acoustic time of flightestimation, accuracy of 50% with respect to the existing measurements techniques based onlyon signal correlation.
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Contributor : Irina Alexandra Murgan <>
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Irina Murgan, Cornel Ioana, Ion Candel, Andrei Anghel, Jean-Louis Ballester, et al.. (A new time of flight) Acoustic flow meter using wide band signals and adaptive beamforming techniques. 28th IAHR symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems (IAHR2016), Jul 2016, Grenoble, France. ⟨10.1088/1755-1315/49/6/062002⟩. ⟨hal-01441791⟩

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