In flammable or explosive environments, an ultrasonic sensor for distance measurement poses an important engineering safety challenge, because the driving circuit uses an intermediate frequency transformer as an impedance transformation element, in which the produced heat or spark is available for ignition. In this paper, an intrinsically safe ultrasonic ranging sensor is designed and implemented. The waterproof piezoelectric transducer with integrated transceiver is chosen as an energy transducing element. Then a novel transducer driving circuit is designed based on an impedance matching method considering safety spark parameters to replace an intermediate frequency transformer. Then, an energy limiting circuit is developed to achieve dual levels of over-voltage and over-current protection. The detail calculation and evaluation are executed and the electrical characteristics are analyzed to verify the intrinsic safety of the driving circuit. Finally, an experimental platform of the ultrasonic ranging sensor system is constructed, which involves short-circuit protection. Experimental results show that the proposed ultrasonic ranging sensor is excellent in both ranging performance and intrinsic safety.
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