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Sensors 2016, 16(7), 1008;

An Enhanced Technique for Ultrasonic Flow Metering Featuring Very Low Jitter and Offset

Institut für Technische Informatik und Mikroelektronik, Technische Universität Berlin, Einsteinufer 17, Berlin 10587, Germany
Laboratoire d’Electronique Avancée, Département d’Electronique, Université Batna 2, Rue Chahid Boukhlouf, Batna 05000, Algeria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaoning Jiang
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3100 KB, uploaded 29 June 2016]   |  


This paper proposes a new, improved method for water flow metering. It applies to a transit time ultrasonic flow meter device. In principle, the flow of a given liquid in a pipe is obtained by measuring the transit times of an ultrasonic wave in the upstream and downstream directions. The difference between these times is, in theory, linearly proportional to the liquid flow velocity. However, the fainter the flow is, the smaller the transit time difference (TTD) is. This difference can be as low as a few picoseconds, which gives rise to many technical difficulties in measuring such a small time difference with a given accuracy. The proposed method relies on measuring the TTD indirectly by computing the phase difference between the steady-state parts of the received signals in the upstream and downstream directions and by using a least-square-sine-fitting technique. This reduces the effect of the jitter noise and the offset, which limit measurement precision at very low flow velocity. The obtained measurement results illustrate the robustness of the proposed method, as we measure the TTD at no-flow conditions, with a precision as low as 10 ps peak-to-peak and a TTD offset of zero, within a temperature range from room temperature to 80 °C. This allows us to reach a smaller minimum detectable flow when compared with previous techniques. The proposed method exhibits a better trade-off between measurement accuracy and system complexity. It can be completely integrated in an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) or incorporated in a CPU- or micro-controller-based system. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic water flow meter; jitter; transit time difference (TTD); least-square-sine-fitting ultrasonic water flow meter; jitter; transit time difference (TTD); least-square-sine-fitting

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Hamouda, A.; Manck, O.; Hafiane, M.L.; Bouguechal, N.-E. An Enhanced Technique for Ultrasonic Flow Metering Featuring Very Low Jitter and Offset. Sensors 2016, 16, 1008.

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