The market for process instruments generally requires low cost devices that are robust, small in size, portable, and usable in-plant. Ultrasonic torsional guided wave sensors have received much attention by researchers for measurement of viscosity and/or density of fluids in recent years. The supporting electronic systems for these sensors providing many different settings of sine-wave signals are bulky and expensive. In contrast, a system based on bursts of square waves instead of sine waves would have a considerable advantage in that respect and could be built using simple integrated circuits at a cost that is orders of magnitude lower than for a windowed sine wave device. This paper explores the possibility of using square wave bursts as the driving signal source for the ultrasonic torsional guided wave viscosity sensor. A simple design of a compact and fully automatic analogue square wave front-end for the sensor is also proposed. The successful operation of the system is demonstrated by using the sensor for measuring the viscosity in a representative fluid. This work provides the basis for design and manufacture of low cost compact standalone ultrasonic guided wave sensors and enlightens the possibility of using coded excitation techniques utilising square wave sequences in such applications.
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