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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1250; doi:10.3390/s16081250

Evaluation of an Extended Autocorrelation Phase Estimator for Ultrasonic Velocity Profiles Using Nondestructive Testing Systems

1
Graduate School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (CPGEI), Federal University of Technology-Paraná (UTFPR), Avenida 7 de Setembro 3165, Curitiba 80230-901, Paraná, Brazil
2
Mechanical & Materials Engineering Postgraduate Program (PPGEM), Federal University of Technology-Paraná (UTFPR), Avenida 7 de Setembro 3165, Curitiba 80230-901, Paraná, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gangbing Song
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 23 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

In this paper the extended autocorrelation velocity estimator is evaluated and compared using a nondestructive ultrasonic device. For this purpose, three velocity estimators are evaluated and compared. The autocorrelation method (ACM) is the most used and well established in current ultrasonic velocity profiler technology, however, the technique suffers with phase aliasing (also known as the Nyquist limit) at higher velocities. The cross-correlation method (CCM) is also well known and does not suffer with phase aliasing as it relies on time shift measurements between emissions. The problem of this method is the large computational burden due to several required mathematical operations. Recently, an extended autocorrelation method (EAM) which combines both ACM and CCM was developed. The technique is not well known within the fluid engineering community, but it can measure velocities beyond the Nyquist limit without the ACM phase aliasing issues and with a lower computational cost than CCM. In this work, all three velocity estimation methods are used to measure a uniform flow of the liquid inside a controlled rotating cylinder. The root-mean-square deviation variation coefficient (CVRMSD) of the velocity estimate and the reference cylinder velocity was used to evaluate the three different methods. Results show that EAM correctly measures velocities below the Nyquist limit with less than 2% CVRMSD. Velocities beyond the Nyquist limit are only measured well by EAM and CCM, with the advantage of the former of being computationally 15 times faster. Furthermore, the maximum value of measurable velocity is also investigated considering the number of times the velocity surpasses the Nyquist limit. The combination of number of pulses and number of samples, which highly affects the results, are also studied in this work. Velocities up to six times the Nyquist limit could be measurable with CCM and EAM using a set of parameters as suggested in this work. The results validate the use of the NDT tool to measure velocities even beyond Nyquist limit by using EAM. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic velocity profile; autocorrelation; cross-correlation; rotating cylinder; fluid dynamics; dealising signal processing ultrasonic velocity profile; autocorrelation; cross-correlation; rotating cylinder; fluid dynamics; dealising signal processing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ofuchi, C.Y.; Coutinho, F.R.; Neves, F.; de Arruda, L.V.R.; Morales, R.E.M. Evaluation of an Extended Autocorrelation Phase Estimator for Ultrasonic Velocity Profiles Using Nondestructive Testing Systems. Sensors 2016, 16, 1250.

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