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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2950;

Improvement of Ultrasonic Pulse Generator for Automatic Pipeline Inspection

Center for Engineering and Industrial Development (CIDESI), Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76125, Mexico
Academic Group of Automation and Control, Technological University of the State of Queretaro (UTEQ), Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76148, Mexico
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Oil and Gas Applications)
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This paper presents the improvement of an ultrasonic pulse generator for a pipeline inspection gauge (PIG), which uses 64 transducers for inspecting distances up to 100 km with an axial resolution fixed at 3 mm and variable speeds between 0 and 2 m/s. An ultrasonic pulse generator is composed of a high-voltage (HV) MOSFETs, driver logic and an HV power supply. We used a DC-HV DC converter device as the HV power supply because it reduces the size of the ultrasound system considerably. However, pipeline geometry and inspection effects such as hammer and shock cause a variable pulse repetition frequency (PRF), producing voltage drops, poor quality of the HV pulse generated, failures in the dimensioning of defects and damage to devices by over-voltage. Our improvement is to implement a control scheme to maintain the high quality of the HV regardless of the variable PRF. To achieve this, we characterized three transfer functions of the DC-HV DC converter, varying the connected load to 10%, 45% and 80%. For the characterization, we used the least squares technique, considering an autoregressive exogenous (ARX) model. Later, we compared three control schemes: (1) proportional-integral-derivative (PID) tuned by simultaneous optimization of several responses (SOSR), (2) PID tuned by a neural network (NN) and (3) PI tuned by the analytical design method (ADM). The metrics used to compare the control schemes were the recovery time, the maximum over-voltage and the excess energy when the shock and hammer effects happen to occur. Finally, to verify the improvement of the HV pulser, we compared the ultrasonic pulses generated for various frequencies and amplitudes using the pulse generator with and without the control scheme. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic pulse generator; pipeline inspection gauge; PID; neural network; autoregressive exogenous model; simultaneous optimization of several responses ultrasonic pulse generator; pipeline inspection gauge; PID; neural network; autoregressive exogenous model; simultaneous optimization of several responses

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Rodríguez-Olivares, N.A.; Cruz-Cruz, J.V.; Gómez-Hernández, A.; Hernández-Alvarado, R.; Nava-Balanzar, L.; Salgado-Jiménez, T.; Soto-Cajiga, J.A. Improvement of Ultrasonic Pulse Generator for Automatic Pipeline Inspection. Sensors 2018, 18, 2950.

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