Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15465-15488; doi:10.3390/s131115465
Article

Accurate Estimation of Airborne Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight for Overlapping Echoes

Electronic Technology and Automatic Systems Department, School of Industrial and Telecommunications Engineering, University of Cantabria, Avda. de Los Castros s/n 39005, Santander, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2013; in revised form: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract: In this work, an analysis of the transmission of ultrasonic signals generated by piezoelectric sensors for air applications is presented. Based on this analysis, an ultrasonic response model is obtained for its application to the recognition of objects and structured environments for navigation by autonomous mobile robots. This model enables the analysis of the ultrasonic response that is generated using a pair of sensors in transmitter-receiver configuration using the pulse-echo technique. This is very interesting for recognizing surfaces that simultaneously generate a multiple echo response. This model takes into account the effect of the radiation pattern, the resonant frequency of the sensor, the number of cycles of the excitation pulse, the dynamics of the sensor and the attenuation with distance in the medium. This model has been developed, programmed and verified through a battery of experimental tests. Using this model a new procedure for obtaining accurate time of flight is proposed. This new method is compared with traditional ones, such as threshold or correlation, to highlight its advantages and drawbacks. Finally the advantages of this method are demonstrated for calculating multiple times of flight when the echo is formed by several overlapping echoes.
Keywords: airborne ultrasounds; accurate time of flight; dynamic response model; hidden echo detection; hidden echo time of flight; overlapping echoes; robotics; autonomous navigation

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sarabia, E.G.; Llata, J.R.; Robla, S.; Torre-Ferrero, C.; Oria, J.P. Accurate Estimation of Airborne Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight for Overlapping Echoes. Sensors 2013, 13, 15465-15488.

AMA Style

Sarabia EG, Llata JR, Robla S, Torre-Ferrero C, Oria JP. Accurate Estimation of Airborne Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight for Overlapping Echoes. Sensors. 2013; 13(11):15465-15488.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sarabia, Esther G.; Llata, Jose R.; Robla, Sandra; Torre-Ferrero, Carlos; Oria, Juan P. 2013. "Accurate Estimation of Airborne Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight for Overlapping Echoes." Sensors 13, no. 11: 15465-15488.

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