Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11818-11841; doi:10.3390/s130911818

Low-Cost Ultrasonic Distance Sensor Arrays with Networked Error Correction

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Received: 1 July 2013; in revised form: 29 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Distance has been one of the basic factors in manufacturing and control fields, and ultrasonic distance sensors have been widely used as a low-cost measuring tool. However, the propagation of ultrasonic waves is greatly affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. In order to solve the problem of inaccurate measurement, which is significant within industry, this paper presents a novel ultrasonic distance sensor model using networked error correction (NEC) trained on experimental data. This is more accurate than other existing approaches because it uses information from indirect association with neighboring sensors, which has not been considered before. The NEC technique, focusing on optimization of the relationship of the topological structure of sensor arrays, is implemented for the compensation of erroneous measurements caused by the environment. We apply the maximum likelihood method to determine the optimal fusion data set and use a neighbor discovery algorithm to identify neighbor nodes at the top speed. Furthermore, we adopt the NEC optimization algorithm, which takes full advantage of the correlation coefficients for neighbor sensors. The experimental results demonstrate that the ranging errors of the NEC system are within 2.20%; furthermore, the mean absolute percentage error is reduced to 0.01% after three iterations of this method, which means that the proposed method performs extremely well. The optimized method of distance measurement we propose, with the capability of NEC, would bring a significant advantage for intelligent industrial automation.
Keywords: ultrasonic distance sensor; networked error correction; confidence distance; maximum likelihood method; neighbor discovery; correlation coefficient
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dai, H.; Zhao, S.; Jia, Z.; Chen, T. Low-Cost Ultrasonic Distance Sensor Arrays with Networked Error Correction. Sensors 2013, 13, 11818-11841.

AMA Style

Dai H, Zhao S, Jia Z, Chen T. Low-Cost Ultrasonic Distance Sensor Arrays with Networked Error Correction. Sensors. 2013; 13(9):11818-11841.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dai, Hongjun; Zhao, Shulin; Jia, Zhiping; Chen, Tianzhou. 2013. "Low-Cost Ultrasonic Distance Sensor Arrays with Networked Error Correction." Sensors 13, no. 9: 11818-11841.

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