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Special Issue "Ultrasonic Sensors 2018"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Dipen N. Sinha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices group (MPA-11), Los Alamos National Laboratory, MS D429, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
Interests: ultrasonic based sensors; nonlinear acoustics; acoustically engineered materials; ultrasonic concentration and manipulation of particles; swept frequency acoustic interferometry; biomedical sensors and fluid characterization techniques
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristian Pantea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Materials Physics and Applications (MPA-11), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
Interests: ultrasonic-based sensors and methods; ultrasonic pulse-echo; ultrasonic interferometry; nonlinear acoustic methods; swept-frequency acoustic interferometry (SFAI); resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS); high pressure–high temperature ultrasonic
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ultrasonic sensors are widely used in a multitude of applications, in diverse industrial and nonindustrial settings. This Special Issue aims to highlight advances in the development of novel ultrasonic sensors, including modeling with applications in diverse fields. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-destructive testing/material characterization
  • Challenging environments: High/low temperature, pressure, radiation, corrosiveness
  • Electroacoustic, magnetoacoustic, photoacoustic effects
  • Remote sensing
  • Ultrasonic imaging and visualization
  • Industrial applications (oil and gas, geothermal, automotive, etc.)
  • Physical acoustics (solids, liquids and gases)
  • Medical and biomedical ultrasonic sensors
  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Sensors based on metmaterials

Both review articles and original research papers in the field of ultrasonic sensors are solicited.

Dr. Dipen N. Sinha
Dr. Cristian Pantea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Acoustic sensing
  • Acoustic signal processing
  • Acoustical instruments and techniques
  • Acoustic transduction
  • Structural acoustics
  • Bioacoustics
  • Doppler effect
  • Linear acoustics
  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Structural acoustics
  • Metamaterials

Published Papers (39 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Configuration to Determine the Nonlinear Parameter β in PMMA and CFRP with the Finite Amplitude Method
Sensors 2019, 19(5), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19051156 - 07 Mar 2019
Abstract
Parameters to measure nonlinearity in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials have been determined with nonlinear ultrasound (NLUS). The nonlinear parameter β has been determined using the variation of the Finite Amplitude Method (FAM) with harmonic generation. Using this as [...] Read more.
Parameters to measure nonlinearity in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials have been determined with nonlinear ultrasound (NLUS). The nonlinear parameter β has been determined using the variation of the Finite Amplitude Method (FAM) with harmonic generation. Using this as a reference, the first contribution of this work consists of deducting the experimental configuration necessary to measure this nonlinear parameter in a correct and feasible way. Excitation level, frequency of the wave generated, number of cycles analysed and the distances transducer-specimen and specimen-hydrophone have been determined in both materials. The second contribution is a semi-analytical model that allows to obtain the nonlinear parameter in materials by removing water contribution and considering geometric and viscous attenuation, using the data obtained in an immersion tank. Finally, an application of this model has been carried out in PMMA in order to determinate the nonlinear parameter in this material. From the results, we confirm that the configuration determined in this paper to obtain the parameter β decreases the noise in the measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasonic Tethering to Enable Side-by-Side Following for Powered Wheelchairs
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19010109 - 30 Dec 2018
Abstract
In social situations, people who use a powered wheelchair must divide their attention between navigating the chair and conversing with people. These conversations could lead to increased mental stress when navigating and distraction from maneuvering the chair. As a solution that maintains a [...] Read more.
In social situations, people who use a powered wheelchair must divide their attention between navigating the chair and conversing with people. These conversations could lead to increased mental stress when navigating and distraction from maneuvering the chair. As a solution that maintains a good conversation distance between the wheelchair and the accompanying person (Social Following), a wheelchair control system was developed to provide automated side-by-side following by wirelessly connecting the wheelchair to the person. Two ultrasonic range sensors and three piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers were used to identify the accompanying person and determine their position and heading. Identification involved an ultrasonic beacon worn on the person’s side, at hip level, and receivers on the wheelchair. A drive control algorithm maintained a constant conversation distance along the person’s trajectory. A plug-and-play prototype was developed and connected to a Permobil F5 Corpus wheelchair with a modified Eightfold Technologies SmartChair Remote. Results demonstrated that the system can navigate a wheelchair based on the accompanying person’s trajectory, which is advantageous for users who require hands-free wheelchair control during social activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnesium Alloy Matching Layer for High-Performance Transducer Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4424; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124424 - 14 Dec 2018
Cited by 1Correction
Abstract
In this paper, we report the use of magnesium alloy (AZ31B) as the matching material for PZT-5H ultrasonic transducers. The AZ31B has an acoustic impedance of 10.3 MRayl, which provides a good acoustic impedance match for PZT-5H ultrasonic transducers in water medium based [...] Read more.
In this paper, we report the use of magnesium alloy (AZ31B) as the matching material for PZT-5H ultrasonic transducers. The AZ31B has an acoustic impedance of 10.3 MRayl, which provides a good acoustic impedance match for PZT-5H ultrasonic transducers in water medium based on the double matching layer theory. Two PZT-5H transducers with different center frequencies were designed and fabricated using the AZ31B. The respective center frequencies of the two fabricated transducers were 4.6 MHz and 9.25 MHz. The 4.6 MHz transducer exhibits a −6 dB bandwidth of 79% and two-way insertion loss of −11.11 dB. The 9.25 MHz transducer also shows good performance: −6 dB bandwidth of 71% and two-way insertion loss of −14.43 dB. The properties of the two transducers are superior to those of transducers using a composite matching layer, indicating that the magnesium alloy may be a promising alternative for high-performance transducers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Construction of an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker Consisting in a Spherical Distribution of Ultrasound Transducers
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4317; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124317 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Omnidirectional sound sources are needed to perform a large variety of tests in acoustics. Typically, they consist of conventional speaker drivers arranged in a dodecahedron. However, the directivity of the speaker drivers sharpens with frequency, which induces an intense decrease of the sound [...] Read more.
Omnidirectional sound sources are needed to perform a large variety of tests in acoustics. Typically, they consist of conventional speaker drivers arranged in a dodecahedron. However, the directivity of the speaker drivers sharpens with frequency, which induces an intense decrease of the sound pressure levels at the edges of the dodechaedron. In this work, the problem is mitigated by building an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker (OPL), which contains hundreds of small ultrasound transducers set on a sphere. Each transducer emits an ultrasonic carrier wave modulated by an audible signal. Thanks to nonlinear propagation, the air itself demodulates the signal bringing it back to the audible range. The construction of an OPL prototype is challenging. The structure has been built by 3D-printing a set of pieces that conform to the sphere. Each piece contains the exact location of the transducers, which are aligned in parallels to facilitate the structural assembly and the wiring. The performance of the OPL has been tested in an anechoic chamber. Measurements show that the OPL has a good omnidirectional behavior for most frequencies. It clearly improves the directivity of dodechaedral sources in the high frequency range, but performs worse at low frequencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic Effect Enhancement by Dual-Bias High-Voltage Circuit of Transmit Amplifier for Immersion Ultrasound Transducer Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4210; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124210 - 30 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The dual-bias high-voltage circuit of a transmit amplifier for immersion ultrasound transducer applications is proposed to enhance the therapeutic effect of human HeLa cells. High-voltage output signals generated from a transmit amplifier are typically preferable for immersion ultrasound transducers owing to their high [...] Read more.
The dual-bias high-voltage circuit of a transmit amplifier for immersion ultrasound transducer applications is proposed to enhance the therapeutic effect of human HeLa cells. High-voltage output signals generated from a transmit amplifier are typically preferable for immersion ultrasound transducers owing to their high sensitivity at the desired frequency. However, high-voltage output signals typically produce high-order harmonic distortions, thus triggering several unwanted high-order spectral signals in the ultrasound transducers. By reducing high-order harmonic distortions, we expect that improving the signal quality of excited pulses for immersion ultrasound transducers would be beneficial for the therapeutic effect on human cervical cancer HeLa cell suppression. Therefore, an additional bias circuit is developed to merge with the original bias circuit for transmit amplifier to control the harmonic distortions of the immersion ultrasonic transducer. To properly select the components of dual-bias high-voltage circuit, we need to calculate and measure the DC bias voltages of the transmit amplifier with and without dual-bias high-voltage circuit for different period of the time for therapeutic applications. To evaluate the performances of the developed circuit, pulse-echo measurements using a transmit amplifier with or without dual-bias high-voltage circuit were obtained. The measured second, third, and fourth harmonic distortions of the echo signals when using the transmit amplifier with dual-bias high-voltage circuit at 10 V DC bias voltage are lower than those when using the transmit amplifier only. Subsequently, the therapeutic effects using the enhanced performances of the transmit amplifier with dual-bias high-voltage circuit were verified and compared with those using the performances of the transmit amplifier by comparison of quantitative changes in HeLa cell concentrations. The control group without any ultrasonic induction increased the cell density up to about 100% on Day4, however the experimental groups with ultrasonic induction (TA = 91.2 ± 0.8%, TA+Dual-bias high-voltage circuit (0.8 V) = 78.8 ± 1.7% and TA+Dual-bias high-voltage circuit (10 V) = 66.3 ± 1.1%) showed statistically significant cell density changes compared to the control group. We confirmed that the therapeutic effect from using the dual-bias high-voltage circuit is improved. Therefore, it can be a potential candidate to improve the therapeutic effect of HeLa cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Applicability of Diffuse Ultrasound to Evaluation of the Water Permeability and Chloride Ion Penetrability of Cracked Concrete
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4156; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124156 - 27 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aims to explore the applicability of diffuse ultrasound to the evaluation of water permeability and chloride ion penetrability of cracked concrete. Lab-scale experiments were conducted on disk-shaped concrete specimens, each having a different width of a penetrating crack that was generated [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the applicability of diffuse ultrasound to the evaluation of water permeability and chloride ion penetrability of cracked concrete. Lab-scale experiments were conducted on disk-shaped concrete specimens, each having a different width of a penetrating crack that was generated by splitting tension along the centerline. The average crack width of each specimen was determined using an image binarization technique. The diffuse ultrasound test employed signals in the frequency range of 200 to 440 kHz. The water flow rate was measured using a constant water-head permeability method, and the chloride diffusion coefficient was determined using a modified steady-state migration method. Then, the effects of crack width on the diffusion characteristics of ultrasound (i.e., diffusivity, dissipation), water flow rate, and chloride diffusion coefficient are investigated. The correlations between the water flow rate and diffuse ultrasound parameters, and between the chloride diffusion coefficient and diffuse ultrasound parameters, are examined. The results suggest that diffuse ultrasound is a promising method for assessing the water permeability and chloride ion penetrability of cracked concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Sparse Ultrasound Imaging via Manifold Low-Rank Approximation and Non-Convex Greedy Pursuit
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4097; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124097 - 23 Nov 2018
Abstract
Model-based image reconstruction has improved contrast and spatial resolution in imaging applications such as magnetic resonance imaging and emission computed tomography. However, these methods have not succeeded in pulse-echo applications like ultrasound imaging due to the typical assumption of a finite grid of [...] Read more.
Model-based image reconstruction has improved contrast and spatial resolution in imaging applications such as magnetic resonance imaging and emission computed tomography. However, these methods have not succeeded in pulse-echo applications like ultrasound imaging due to the typical assumption of a finite grid of possible scatterer locations in a medium–an assumption that does not reflect the continuous nature of real world objects and creates a problem known as off-grid deviation. To cope with this problem, we present a method of dictionary expansion and constrained reconstruction that approximates the continuous manifold of all possible scatterer locations within a region of interest. The expanded dictionary is created using a highly coherent sampling of the region of interest, followed by a rank reduction procedure. We develop a greedy algorithm, based on the Orthogonal Matching Pursuit, that uses a correlation-based non-convex constraint set that allows for the division of the region of interest into cells of any size. To evaluate the performance of the method, we present results of two-dimensional ultrasound imaging with simulated data in a nondestructive testing application. Our method succeeds in the reconstructions of sparse images from noisy measurements, providing higher accuracy than previous approaches based on regular discrete models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of Detection Sensitivity of Microbubbles as Sensors to Detect Ambient Pressure
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4083; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124083 - 22 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Microbubbles are considered a promising tool for noninvasive estimation of local blood pressure. It is reported that the subharmonic scattering amplitude of microbubbles decreases by 9 to 12 dB when immersed in the media under an ambient pressure variation from 0 to 180 [...] Read more.
Microbubbles are considered a promising tool for noninvasive estimation of local blood pressure. It is reported that the subharmonic scattering amplitude of microbubbles decreases by 9 to 12 dB when immersed in the media under an ambient pressure variation from 0 to 180 mmHg. However, the pressure sensitivity still needs to be improved to satisfy clinical diagnostic requirements. Here, we investigated the effects of acoustic parameters on the pressure sensitivity of microbubbles through measuring the acoustic attenuation and scattering properties of commercially available SonoVue microbubbles. Our results showed that the first harmonic, subharmonic, and ultraharmonic amplitudes of microbubbles were reduced by 6.6 dB, 10.9 dB, and 9.3 dB at 0.225 mechanical index (MI), 4.6 dB, 19.8 dB, and 12.3 dB at 0.25 MI, and 18.5 dB, 17.6 dB, and 12.6 dB at 0.3 MI, respectively, when the ambient pressure increased from 0 to 180 mmHg. Our finding revealed that a moderate MI (0.25–0.4) exciting microbubbles could significantly improve their sensitivities to detect ambient pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Photoacoustic Energy Sensor for Nanosecond Optical Pulse Measurement
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3879; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113879 - 11 Nov 2018
Abstract
We demonstrate a photoacoustic sensor capable of measuring high-energy nanosecond optical pulses in terms of temporal width and energy fluence per pulse. This was achieved by using a hybrid combination of a carbon nanotube-polydimethylsiloxane (CNT-PDMS)-based photoacoustic transmitter (i.e., light-to-sound converter) and a piezoelectric [...] Read more.
We demonstrate a photoacoustic sensor capable of measuring high-energy nanosecond optical pulses in terms of temporal width and energy fluence per pulse. This was achieved by using a hybrid combination of a carbon nanotube-polydimethylsiloxane (CNT-PDMS)-based photoacoustic transmitter (i.e., light-to-sound converter) and a piezoelectric receiver (i.e., sound detector). In this photoacoustic energy sensor (PES), input pulsed optical energy is heavily absorbed by the CNT-PDMS composite film and then efficiently converted into an ultrasonic output. The output ultrasonic pulse is then measured and analyzed to retrieve the input optical characteristics. We quantitatively compared the PES performance with that of a commercial thermal energy meter. Due to the efficient energy transduction and sensing mechanism of the hybrid structure, the minimum-measurable pulsed optical energy was significantly lowered, ~157 nJ/cm2, corresponding to 1/760 of the reference pyroelectric detector. Moreover, despite the limited acoustic frequency bandwidth of the piezoelectric receiver, laser pulse widths over a range of 6–130 ns could be measured with a linear relationship to the ultrasound pulse width of 22–153 ns. As CNT has a wide electromagnetic absorption spectrum, the proposed pulsed sensor system can be extensively applied to high-energy pulse measurement over visible through terahertz spectral ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Frequency Dependence of Receiving Sensitivity of Ultrasonic Transducers and Acoustic Emission Sensors
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3861; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113861 - 09 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Receiving displacement sensitivities (Rx) of ultrasonic transducers and acoustic emission (AE) sensors are evaluated using sinewave packet excitation method and compared to the corresponding data from pulse excitation method with a particular emphasis on low frequency behavior below 20 kHz, down to 10 [...] Read more.
Receiving displacement sensitivities (Rx) of ultrasonic transducers and acoustic emission (AE) sensors are evaluated using sinewave packet excitation method and compared to the corresponding data from pulse excitation method with a particular emphasis on low frequency behavior below 20 kHz, down to 10 Hz. Both methods rely on the determination of transmitter displacement characteristics using a laser interferometric method. Results obtained by two calibration methods are in good agreement, with average spectral differences below 1 dB, indicating that the two calibration methods yield identical receiving sensitivities. At low test frequencies, effects of attenuation increase substantially due to increasing sensor impedance and Rx requires correction in order to evaluate the inherent sensitivity of a sensor, or open-circuit sensitivity. This can differ by more than 20 dB from results that used common preamplifiers with ~10 kΩ input impedance, leading to apparent velocity response below 100 kHz for typical AE sensors. Damped broadband sensors and ultrasonic transducers exhibit inherent velocity response (Type 1) below their main resonance frequency. In sensors with under-damped resonance, a steep sensitivity decrease occurs showing frequency dependence of f2~f5 (Type 2), while mass-loaded sensors exhibit flat displacement response (Type 0). Such behaviors originate from sensor characteristics that can best be described by the damped harmonic oscillator model. This model accounts for the three typical behaviors. At low frequencies, typically below 1 kHz, receiving sensitivity exhibits another Type 0 behavior of frequency independent Rx. Seven of 12 sensors showed this flat region, while three more appear to approach the Type 0 region. This appears to originate from the quasi-static piezoelectric response of a sensing element. In using impulse method, a minimum pulse duration is necessary to obtain spectral fidelity at low frequencies and an approximate rule is given. Various factors for sensitivity improvement are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Generation and Analysis of Ultrasound Images Using Plane Wave and Sparse Arrays Techniques
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3660; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113660 - 28 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ultrasonic imaging is one of the most important techniques to help medical diagnosis. However, obtaining high quality images requires the acquisition, processing, and storage of a large amount of data. In this work, we evaluated a new ultrasound imaging technique based on plane [...] Read more.
Ultrasonic imaging is one of the most important techniques to help medical diagnosis. However, obtaining high quality images requires the acquisition, processing, and storage of a large amount of data. In this work, we evaluated a new ultrasound imaging technique based on plane wave and sparse arrays to increase the scan rate and reduce the amount of data amount to be stored. The performance of the proposed method was tested using simulated echo data (from Field II) and phantom data acquired using a Verasonics system equipped with a L11-4v linear array transducer. The tests were done using 128 elements for transmission and 128, 65, 44, and 23 elements sparsely distributed for reception. The simulated data were compared with images obtained with the Delay and Sum (DAS) method and the experimental data were compared with those acquired from Verasonics. The obtained results using the Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) criteria at −6 dB showed that the images generated by the proposed method were similar in terms of resolutions (axial and lateral) and contrast to the simulated and the Verasonics commercial ones, indicating that the sparse reception proposed method is suitable for ultrasound imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Accurate Needle Localization Using Two-Dimensional Power Doppler and B-Mode Ultrasound Image Analyses: A Feasibility Study
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103475 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Curvilinear ultrasound transducers are commonly used in various needle insertion interventions, but localizing the needle in curvilinear ultrasound images is usually challenging. In this paper, a new method is proposed to localize the needle in curvilinear ultrasound images by exciting the needle using [...] Read more.
Curvilinear ultrasound transducers are commonly used in various needle insertion interventions, but localizing the needle in curvilinear ultrasound images is usually challenging. In this paper, a new method is proposed to localize the needle in curvilinear ultrasound images by exciting the needle using a piezoelectric buzzer and imaging the excited needle using a curvilinear ultrasound transducer to acquire a power Doppler image and a B-mode image. The needle-induced Doppler responses that appear in the power Doppler image are analyzed to estimate the needle axis initially and identify the candidate regions that are expected to include the needle. The candidate needle regions in the B-mode image are analyzed to improve the localization of the needle axis. The needle tip is determined by analyzing the intensity variations of the power Doppler and B-mode images around the needle axis. The proposed method is employed to localize different needles that are inserted in three ex vivo animal tissue types at various insertion angles, and the results demonstrate the capability of the method to achieve automatic, reliable and accurate needle localization. Furthermore, the proposed method outperformed two existing needle localization methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Reliable Acoustic Path and Direct-Arrival Zone Spatial Gain Analysis for a Vertical Line Array
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3462; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103462 - 15 Oct 2018
Abstract
A method is developed in this paper to calculate the spatial gain of a vertical line array when the plane-wave assumption is not applicable and when the oceanic ambient noise is correlated. The proposed optimal array gain (OAG), which can evaluate the array’s [...] Read more.
A method is developed in this paper to calculate the spatial gain of a vertical line array when the plane-wave assumption is not applicable and when the oceanic ambient noise is correlated. The proposed optimal array gain (OAG), which can evaluate the array’s performance and effectively guide its deployment, can be given by an equation in which the noise gain (NG) is subtracted from the signal gain (SG); hence, a high SG and a negative NG can enhance the performance of the array. OAGs and SGs with different array locations are simulated and analyzed based on the sound propagation properties of the direct-arrival zone (DAZ) and the reliable acoustic path (RAP) using ray theory. SG and NG are related to the correlation coefficients of the signals and noise, respectively, and the vertical correlation is determined by the structures of the multipath arrivals. The SG in the DAZ is always high because there is little difference between the multipath waves, while the SG in the RAP changes with the source-receiver range because of the variety of structure in the multiple arrivals. The SG under different conditions is simulated in this work. The “dual peak” structure can often be observed in the vertical directionality pattern of the noise because of the presence of bottom reflection and deep sound channel. When the directions of the signal and noise are close, the conventional beamformer will enhance the correlation of not only the signals but also the noise; thus, the directivity of the signals and noise are analyzed. Under the condition of having a typical sound speed profile, the OAG in some areas of the DAZ and RAP can achieve high values and even exceed the ideal gain of horizontal line array 10 logN dB, while, in some other areas, it will be lowered because of the influence of the NG. The proposed method of gain analysis can provide analysis methods for vertical arrays in the deep ocean under many conditions with references. The theory and simulation are tested by experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
An Underwater Time Reversal Communication Method Using Symbol-Based Doppler Compensation with a Single Sound Pressure Sensor
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3279; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103279 - 29 Sep 2018
Abstract
Due to the significant multipath and Doppler effects in the underwater acoustic (UWA) channel, the quality of the received signal is degraded, which seriously affects the performance of UWA communication. The paper proposes a time reversal UWA communication method combined with a symbol-based [...] Read more.
Due to the significant multipath and Doppler effects in the underwater acoustic (UWA) channel, the quality of the received signal is degraded, which seriously affects the performance of UWA communication. The paper proposes a time reversal UWA communication method combined with a symbol-based Doppler compensation (SBDC) technique to solve those problems. A single element time reversal mirror (TRM) is used to realize channel equalization and mitigate the inter-symbol interference (ISI) resulting from multipath propagation. The SBDC technique is subsequently used to compensate Doppler effects in the received signal, thereby reducing the bit error rate (BER) and improving the communication performance. In order to verify the performance of the proposed communication method, some simulations with real sounding channels were performed. Moreover, a field UWA communication experiment was conducted in the Songhua River (Harbin, China). The UWA communication experiment achieves nearly error-free performance with a communication rate of 100 bit/s in the bandwidth of 2 kHz. The results of the experiment demonstrate the feasibility and robustness of the proposed UWA communication method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Air-Coupled Excitation of a Slow A0 Mode Wave in Thin Plastic Films by an Ultrasonic PMN-32%PT Array
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 3156; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18093156 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ultrasonic non-destructive testing techniques (NDT) based on the application of guided waves are already used for inspection of plate-type structures made of various materials, including composite materials. Air-coupled ultrasonic techniques are used to test such structures by means of guided waves. The objective [...] Read more.
Ultrasonic non-destructive testing techniques (NDT) based on the application of guided waves are already used for inspection of plate-type structures made of various materials, including composite materials. Air-coupled ultrasonic techniques are used to test such structures by means of guided waves. The objective of this research was development and investigation of air-coupled excitation of a slow A0 Lamb wave mode in thin plastic films by a PMN-32%PT ultrasonic array. It is known that when the velocity of the A0 mode in the film is less than the ultrasound velocity in air no leaky wave is observed in a surrounding air. It opens new possibilities for NDT of composite structures. The influence of the airborne wave may be eliminated by 3D filtering in a wavenumbers-frequency domain. A special filter and corresponding signals processing technique were developed in order to obtain directivity patterns and velocity maps of the waves propagating in all directions. The measured ultrasound velocity values prove that, with the proposed method, it is possible to excite a slow A0 Lamb wave mode and to separate it from other parasitic waves propagating in air. Measurements of the parameters of the slow A0 mode, such as the propagation velocity in the plastic film, may be applied for the material characterization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Logical Inference Framework for Experimental Design of Mechanical Characterization Procedures
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2984; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092984 - 07 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Optimizing an experimental design is a complex task when a model is required for indirect reconstruction of physical parameters from the sensor readings. In this work, a formulation is proposed to unify the probabilistic reconstruction of mechanical parameters and an optimization problem. An [...] Read more.
Optimizing an experimental design is a complex task when a model is required for indirect reconstruction of physical parameters from the sensor readings. In this work, a formulation is proposed to unify the probabilistic reconstruction of mechanical parameters and an optimization problem. An information-theoretic framework combined with a new metric of information density is formulated providing several comparative advantages: (i) a straightforward way to extend the formulation to incorporate additional concurrent models, as well as new unknowns such as experimental design parameters in a probabilistic way; (ii) the model causality required by Bayes’ theorem is overridden, allowing generalization of contingent models; and (iii) a simpler formulation that avoids the characteristic complex denominator of Bayes’ theorem when reconstructing model parameters. The first step allows the solving of multiple-model reconstructions. Further extensions could be easily extracted, such as robust model reconstruction, or adding alternative dimensions to the problem to accommodate future needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Configurations of Ultrahigh Frequency (≤600 MHz) Analog Frontend for High Resolution Ultrasound Measurement
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2598; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082598 - 08 Aug 2018
Abstract
In this article, an approach to designing and developing an ultrahigh frequency (≤600 MHz) ultrasound analog frontend with Golay coded excitation sequence for high resolution imaging applications is presented. For the purpose of visualizing specific structures or measuring functional responses of micron-sized biological [...] Read more.
In this article, an approach to designing and developing an ultrahigh frequency (≤600 MHz) ultrasound analog frontend with Golay coded excitation sequence for high resolution imaging applications is presented. For the purpose of visualizing specific structures or measuring functional responses of micron-sized biological samples, a higher frequency ultrasound is needed to obtain a decent spatial resolution while it lowers the signal-to-noise ratio, the difference in decibels between the signal level and the background noise level, due to the higher attenuation coefficient. In order to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, conventional approach was to increase the transmit voltage level. However, it may cause damaging the extremely thin piezoelectric material in the ultrahigh frequency range. In this paper, we present a novel design of ultrahigh frequency (≤600 MHz) frontend system capable of performing pseudo Golay coded excitation by configuring four independently operating pulse generators in parallel and the consecutive delayed transmission from each channel. Compared with the conventional monocycle pulse approach, the signal-to-noise ratio of the proposed approach was improved by 7–9 dB without compromising the spatial resolution. The measured axial and lateral resolutions of wire targets were 16.4 µm and 10.6 µm by using 156 MHz 4 bit pseudo Golay coded excitation, respectively and 4.5 µm and 7.7 µm by using 312 MHz 4 bit pseudo Golay coded excitation, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity-Improved Ultrasonic Sensor for 3D Imaging of Seismic Physical Model Using a Compact Microcavity
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2315; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072315 - 17 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
A sensitivity-improved ultrasonic sensor is proposed and demonstrated experimentally in this present study. The device is comprised only a fiber-optic microcavity that is formed by discharging a short section of hollow core fiber (HCF). The key to ensuring the success of the sensor [...] Read more.
A sensitivity-improved ultrasonic sensor is proposed and demonstrated experimentally in this present study. The device is comprised only a fiber-optic microcavity that is formed by discharging a short section of hollow core fiber (HCF). The key to ensuring the success of the sensor relies on the preprocessing of hydrogen loading for HCF. When discharging the HCF, the hydrogen is heated up during the formation of the air bubble, which enlarges the bubble diameter, smoothens its surfaces simultaneously and decreases Young’s modulus of the material of the bubble. Ultimately, this results in the probe being highly sensitive to ultrasound with a SNR of 69.28 dB. Once the compact air cavity is formed between the end face of the leading-in fiber and the top wall of the bubble, a well-defined interference spectrum is achieved based on the Fabry–Perot interference. By using spectral side-band filtering technology, we detect the ultrasonic waves reflected by the seismic physical model (SMF) and then reconstruct its three-dimensional image. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Use of Low Frequency Ultrasonic Guided Waves to Detect Fouling Deposition in Pipelines
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2122; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072122 - 02 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The accumulation of fouling within a structure is a well-known and costly problem across many industries. The build-up is dependent on the environmental conditions surrounding the fouled structure. Many attempts have been made to detect fouling accumulation in critical engineering structures and to [...] Read more.
The accumulation of fouling within a structure is a well-known and costly problem across many industries. The build-up is dependent on the environmental conditions surrounding the fouled structure. Many attempts have been made to detect fouling accumulation in critical engineering structures and to optimize the application of power ultrasonic fouling removal procedures, i.e., flow monitoring, ultrasonic guided waves and thermal imaging. In recent years, the use of ultrasonic guided waves has been identified as a promising technology to detect fouling deposition/growth. This technology also has the capability to assess structural health; an added value to the industry. The use of ultrasonic guided waves for structural health monitoring is established but fouling detection using ultrasonic guided waves is still in its infancy. The present study focuses on the characterization of fouling detection using ultrasonic guided waves. A 6.2-m long 6-inch schedule 40 carbon steel pipe has been used to study the effect of (Calcite) fouling on ultrasonic guided wave propagation within the structure. Parameters considered include frequency selection, number of cycles and dispersion at incremental fouling thickness. According to the studied conditions, a 0.5 dB/m drop in signal amplitude occurs for a fouling deposition of 1 mm. The findings demonstrate the potential to detect fouling build-up in lengthy pipes and to quantify its thickness by the reduction in amplitude found from further numerical investigation. This variable can be exploited to optimize the power ultrasonic fouling removal procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Input and Multiple-Output Surface Acoustic Wave Sensing for Damage Quantification in Piezoelectric Sensors
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072017 - 22 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The main aim of the paper is damage detection at the microscale in the anisotropic piezoelectric sensors using surface acoustic waves (SAWs). A novel technique based on the single input and multiple output of Rayleigh waves is proposed to detect the microscale cracks/flaws [...] Read more.
The main aim of the paper is damage detection at the microscale in the anisotropic piezoelectric sensors using surface acoustic waves (SAWs). A novel technique based on the single input and multiple output of Rayleigh waves is proposed to detect the microscale cracks/flaws in the sensor. A convex-shaped interdigital transducer is fabricated for excitation of divergent SAWs in the sensor. An angularly shaped interdigital transducer (IDT) is fabricated at 0 degrees and ±20 degrees for sensing the convex shape evolution of SAWs. A precalibrated damage was introduced in the piezoelectric sensor material using a micro-indenter in the direction perpendicular to the pointing direction of the SAW. Damage detection algorithms based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and principal component analysis (PCA) are implemented to quantify the evolution of damage in piezoelectric sensor material. The evolution of the damage was quantified using a proposed condition indicator (CI) based on normalized Euclidean norm of the change in principal angles, corresponding to pristine and damaged states. The CI indicator provides a robust and accurate metric for detection and quantification of damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
A Correction Approach for the Inclined Array of Hydrophones in Synthetic Aperture Sonar
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2000; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072000 - 22 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A correction approach for the inclined array of hydrophones is proposed to prevent decline of the image quality in SAS. In this approach, the 2-way exact acoustic propagation path of the inclined array is transformed into the sum of a single root term [...] Read more.
A correction approach for the inclined array of hydrophones is proposed to prevent decline of the image quality in SAS. In this approach, the 2-way exact acoustic propagation path of the inclined array is transformed into the sum of a single root term and an offset term, where the single root term is the 2-way ideal propagation path and the offset term contains all errors cause by the inclined array. The correction for the offset term is separated into two steps: phase correction and delay correction. The phase correction is performed on the echo signal of each receiving hydrophone in the 2-D time domain by a phase multiplication and the delay correction is performed on the echo signal of each receiving hydrophone in the range frequency domain by a phase multiplication with a linear function of range frequency at the reference range. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed approach is examined by the simulation experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical and Experimental Evaluation of High-Frequency Unfocused Polymer Transducer Arrays
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061908 - 12 Jun 2018
Abstract
High-frequency unfocused polymer array transducers are developed using an adhesive-free layer-by-layer assembly method. The current paper focuses on experimental and numerical methods for measuring the acoustic performance of these types of array transducers. Two different types of numerical approaches were used to simulate [...] Read more.
High-frequency unfocused polymer array transducers are developed using an adhesive-free layer-by-layer assembly method. The current paper focuses on experimental and numerical methods for measuring the acoustic performance of these types of array transducers. Two different types of numerical approaches were used to simulate the transducer performance, including a finite element method (FEM) study of the transducer response done in COMSOL 5.2a Multiphysics, and modeling of the excited ultrasonic pressure fields using the open source software k-Wave 1.2.1. The experimental characterization also involves two methods (narrow and broadband pulses), which are measurements of the acoustic reflections picked up by the transducer elements. Later on, measurements were undertaken of the ultrasonic pressure fields in a water-scanning tank using a hydrophone system. Ultrasonic pressure field measurements were visualized at various distances from the transducer surface and compared with the numerical findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Holey-Cavity-Based Compressive Sensing for Ultrasound Imaging
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061674 - 23 May 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The use of solid cavities around electromagnetic sources has been recently reported as a mechanism to provide enhanced images at microwave frequencies. These cavities are used as measurement randomizers; and they compress the wave fields at the physical layer. As a result of [...] Read more.
The use of solid cavities around electromagnetic sources has been recently reported as a mechanism to provide enhanced images at microwave frequencies. These cavities are used as measurement randomizers; and they compress the wave fields at the physical layer. As a result of this compression, the amount of information collected by the sensing array through the different excited modes inside the resonant cavity is increased when compared to that obtained by no-cavity approaches. In this work, a two-dimensional cavity, having multiple openings, is used to perform such a compression for ultrasound imaging. Moreover, compressive sensing techniques are used for sparse signal retrieval with a limited number of operating transceivers. As a proof-of-concept of this theoretical investigation, two point-like targets located in a uniform background medium are imaged in the presence and the absence of the cavity. In addition, an analysis of the sensing capacity and the shape of the point spread function is also carried out for the aforementioned cases. The cavity is designed to have the maximum sensing capacity given different materials and opening sizes. It is demonstrated that the use of a cavity, whether it is made of plastic or metal, can significantly enhance the sensing capacity and the point spread function of a focused beam. The imaging performance is also improved in terms cross-range resolution when compared to the no-cavity case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasonic Phased Array Compressive Imaging in Time and Frequency Domain: Simulation, Experimental Verification and Real Application
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051460 - 08 May 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Embracing the fact that one can recover certain signals and images from far fewer measurements than traditional methods use, compressive sensing (CS) provides solutions to huge amounts of data collection in phased array-based material characterization. This article describes how a CS framework can [...] Read more.
Embracing the fact that one can recover certain signals and images from far fewer measurements than traditional methods use, compressive sensing (CS) provides solutions to huge amounts of data collection in phased array-based material characterization. This article describes how a CS framework can be utilized to effectively compress ultrasonic phased array images in time and frequency domains. By projecting the image onto its Discrete Cosine transform domain, a novel scheme was implemented to verify the potentiality of CS for data reduction, as well as to explore its reconstruction accuracy. The results from CIVA simulations indicate that both time and frequency domain CS can accurately reconstruct array images using samples less than the minimum requirements of the Nyquist theorem. For experimental verification of three types of artificial flaws, although a considerable data reduction can be achieved with defects clearly preserved, it is currently impossible to break Nyquist limitation in the time domain. Fortunately, qualified recovery in the frequency domain makes it happen, meaning a real breakthrough for phased array image reconstruction. As a case study, the proposed CS procedure is applied to the inspection of an engine cylinder cavity containing different pit defects and the results show that orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP)-based CS guarantees the performance for real application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Resonance Frequency Analysis and of Quantitative Ultrasound to Assess Dental Implant Osseointegration
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051397 - 02 May 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Dental implants are widely used in the clinic. However, there remain risks of failure, which depend on the implant stability. The aim of this paper is to compare two methods based on resonance frequency analysis (RFA) and on quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and that [...] Read more.
Dental implants are widely used in the clinic. However, there remain risks of failure, which depend on the implant stability. The aim of this paper is to compare two methods based on resonance frequency analysis (RFA) and on quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and that aim at assessing implant stability. Eighty-one identical dental implants were inserted in the iliac crests of 11 sheep. The QUS and RFA measurements were realized after different healing times (0, 5, 7, and 15 weeks). The results obtained with the QUS (respectively RFA) method were significantly different when comparing two consecutive healing time for 97% (respectively, 18%) of the implants. The error made on the estimation of the healing time when analyzing the results obtained with the QUS technique was around 10 times lower than that made when using the RFA technique. The results corresponding to the dependence of the ISQ versus healing time were significantly different when comparing two directions of RFA measurement. The results show that the QUS method allows a more accurate determination of the evolution of dental implant stability when compared to the RFA method. This study paves the way towards the development of a medical device, thus providing a decision support system to dental surgeons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Sub-Band Analysis Based on the Envelope Power Spectrum for Effective Fault Detection in Bearing under Variable, Low Speeds
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051389 - 01 May 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Early identification of failures in rolling element bearings is an important research issue in mechanical systems. In this study, a reliable methodology for bearing fault detection is proposed, which is based on an optimal sub-band selection scheme using the discrete wavelet packet transform [...] Read more.
Early identification of failures in rolling element bearings is an important research issue in mechanical systems. In this study, a reliable methodology for bearing fault detection is proposed, which is based on an optimal sub-band selection scheme using the discrete wavelet packet transform (DWPT) and envelope power analysis techniques. A DWPT-based decomposition is first performed to extract the characteristic defect features from the acquired acoustic emission (AE) signals. The envelope power spectrum (EPS) of each sub-band signal is then calculated to detect the characteristic defect frequencies to reveal abnormal symptoms in bearings. The selection of an appropriate sub-band is essential for effective fault diagnosis, as it can reveal intrinsically explicit information about different types of bearing faults. To address this issue, we propose a Gaussian distribution model-based health-related index (HI) that is a powerful quantitative parameter to accurately estimate the severity of bearing defects. The most optimal sub-band for fault detection is determined using two dimensional (2D) visualization analysis. The efficiency of the proposed approach is validated using several experiments in which different defect conditions are identified under variable, and low operational speeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
The Application of an Ultrasound Tomography Algorithm in a Novel Ring 3D Ultrasound Imaging System
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051332 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Currently, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women all over the world. A novel 3D breast ultrasound imaging ring system using the linear array transducer is proposed to decrease costs, reduce processing difficulties, and improve patient comfort as compared [...] Read more.
Currently, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women all over the world. A novel 3D breast ultrasound imaging ring system using the linear array transducer is proposed to decrease costs, reduce processing difficulties, and improve patient comfort as compared to modern day breast screening systems. The 1 × 128 Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (PMUT) linear array is placed 90 degrees cross-vertically. The transducer surrounds the mammary gland, which allows for non-contact detection. Once the experimental platform is built, the breast model is placed through the electric rotary table opening and into a water tank that is at a constant temperature of 32 °C. The electric rotary table performs a 360° scan either automatically or mechanically. Pulse echo signals are captured through a circular scanning method at discrete angles. Subsequently, an ultrasonic tomography algorithm is designed, and a horizontal slice imaging is realized. The experimental results indicate that the preliminary detection of mass is realized by using this ring system. Circular scanning imaging is obtained by using a rotatable linear array instead of a cylindrical array, which allows the size and location of the mass to be recognized. The resolution of breast imaging is improved through the adjustment of the angle interval (>0.05°) and multiple slices are gained through different transducer array elements (1 × 128). These results validate the feasibility of the system design as well as the algorithm, and encourage us to implement our concept with a clinical study in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasound Pulse-Echo Coupled with a Tracking Technique for Simultaneous Measurement of Multiple Bubbles
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051327 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Bubbly flows are commonly used in various applications and their measurement is an important research topic. The ultrasound pulse-echo technique allows for the detection of each bubble and the measurement of the position of its surface. However, so far it has been used [...] Read more.
Bubbly flows are commonly used in various applications and their measurement is an important research topic. The ultrasound pulse-echo technique allows for the detection of each bubble and the measurement of the position of its surface. However, so far it has been used only to measure single bubbles. This paper investigates whether the pulse-echo technique can be applied for measuring multiple bubbles concurrently. The ultrasonic transducer wavelength and diameter were selected based on expected bubble diameters so that each bubble produced a strong reflection. The pulse-echo was implemented to obtain good accuracy without sacrificing the signal processing speed. A tracking technique was developed for the purpose of connecting detected reflections to trajectories. The technique was tested experimentally by measuring the horizontal position of rising air bubbles in a water tank. The results show that the pulse-echo technique can detect multiple bubbles concurrently. The pulse-echo technique detected almost the same number of bubbles as a high-speed video. For average void fractions up to around 1 % (and instantaneous void fraction reaching 5.3 % ), the rate of bubbles missed by the pulse-echo and the rate of noise trajectories both stayed less than 5%. The error rate increased with the void fraction, limiting the technique’s application range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Old Timber Beams via Strain and Multiresonant Acoustic Emission Sensors
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041224 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper proposes the monitoring of old timber beams with natural defects (knots, grain deviations, fissures and wanes), reinforced using carbon composite materials (CFRP). Reinforcement consisted of the combination of a CFRP laminate strip and a carbon fabric discontinuously wrapping the timber element. [...] Read more.
This paper proposes the monitoring of old timber beams with natural defects (knots, grain deviations, fissures and wanes), reinforced using carbon composite materials (CFRP). Reinforcement consisted of the combination of a CFRP laminate strip and a carbon fabric discontinuously wrapping the timber element. Monitoring considered the use and comparison of two types of sensors: strain gauges and multi-resonant acoustic emission (AE) sensors. Results demonstrate that: (1) the mechanical behavior of the beams can be considerably improved by means of the use of CFRP (160% in bending load capacity and 90% in stiffness); (2) Acoustic emission sensors provide comparable information to strain gauges. This fact points to the great potential of AE techniques for in-service damage assessment in real wood structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Ultrasonic Stress Waves in Structures Using 3D Shaped Optic Fiber Based on a Mach–Zehnder Interferometer
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041218 - 16 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This work proposes a 3D shaped optic fiber sensor for ultrasonic stress waves detection based on the principle of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer. This sensor can be used to receive acoustic emission signals in the passive damage detection methods and other types of ultrasonic [...] Read more.
This work proposes a 3D shaped optic fiber sensor for ultrasonic stress waves detection based on the principle of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer. This sensor can be used to receive acoustic emission signals in the passive damage detection methods and other types of ultrasonic signals propagating in the active damage detection methods, such as guided wave-based methods. The sensitivity of an ultrasonic fiber sensor based on the Mach–Zehnder interferometer mainly depends on the length of the sensing optical fiber; therefore, the proposed sensor achieves the maximum possible sensitivity by wrapping an optical fiber on a hollow cylinder with a base. The deformation of the optical fiber is produced by the displacement field of guided waves in the hollow cylinder. The sensor was first analyzed using the finite element method, which demonstrated its basic sensing capacity, and the simulation signals have the same characteristics in the frequency domain as the excitation signal. Subsequently, the primary investigations were conducted via a series of experiments. The sensor was used to detect guided wave signals excited by a piezoelectric wafer in an aluminum plate, and subsequently it was tested on a reinforced concrete beam, which produced acoustic emission signals via impact loading and crack extension when it was loaded to failure. The signals obtained from a piezoelectric acoustic emission sensor were used for comparison, and the results indicated that the proposed 3D fiber optic sensor can detect ultrasonic signals in the specific frequency response range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Coherent and Noncoherent Joint Processing of Sonar for Detection of Small Targets in Shallow Water
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041154 - 10 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
A coherent-noncoherent joint processing framework is proposed for active sonar to combine diversity gain and beamforming gain for detection of a small target in shallow water environments. Sonar utilizes widely-spaced arrays to sense environments and illuminate a target of interest from multiple angles. [...] Read more.
A coherent-noncoherent joint processing framework is proposed for active sonar to combine diversity gain and beamforming gain for detection of a small target in shallow water environments. Sonar utilizes widely-spaced arrays to sense environments and illuminate a target of interest from multiple angles. Meanwhile, it exploits spatial diversity for time-reversal focusing to suppress reverberation, mainly strong bottom reverberation. For enhancement of robustness of time-reversal focusing, an adaptive iterative strategy is utilized in the processing framework. A probing signal is firstly transmitted and echoes of a likely target are utilized as steering vectors for the second transmission. With spatial diversity, target bearing and range are estimated using a broadband signal model. Numerical simulations show that the novel sonar outperforms the traditional phased-array sonar due to benefits of spatial diversity. The effectiveness of the proposed framework has been validated by localization of a small target in at-lake experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
New Analysis Scheme of Flow-Acoustic Coupling for Gas Ultrasonic Flowmeter with Vortex near the Transducer
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041151 - 10 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Ultrasonic flowmeters with a small or medium diameter are widely used in process industries. The flow field disturbance on acoustic propagation caused by a vortex near the transducer inside the sensor as well as the mechanism and details of flow-acoustic interaction are needed [...] Read more.
Ultrasonic flowmeters with a small or medium diameter are widely used in process industries. The flow field disturbance on acoustic propagation caused by a vortex near the transducer inside the sensor as well as the mechanism and details of flow-acoustic interaction are needed to strengthen research. For that reason, a new hybrid scheme is proposed; the theories of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), wave acoustics, and ray acoustics are used comprehensively by a new step-by-step method. The flow field with a vortex near the transducer, and its influence on sound propagation, receiving, and flowmeter performance are analyzed in depth. It was found that, firstly, the velocity and vortex intensity distribution were asymmetric on the sensor cross-section and acoustic path. Secondly, when passing through the vortex zone, the central ray trajectory was deflected significantly. The sound pressure on the central line of the sound path also changed. Thirdly, the pressure deviation becomes larger with as the flow velocity increases. The deviation was up to 17% for different velocity profiles in a range of 0.6 m/s to 53 m/s. Lastly, in comparison to the theoretical value, the relative deviation of the instrument coefficient for the velocity profile with a vortex near the transducer reached up to −17%. In addition, the rationality of the simulation was proved by experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
2D Analytical Model for the Directivity Prediction of Ultrasonic Contact Type Transducers in the Generation of Guided Waves
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040987 - 26 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this paper, a novel 2D analytical model based on the Huygens’s principle of wave propagation is proposed in order to predict the directivity patterns of contact type ultrasonic transducers in the generation of guided waves (GWs). The developed model is able to [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel 2D analytical model based on the Huygens’s principle of wave propagation is proposed in order to predict the directivity patterns of contact type ultrasonic transducers in the generation of guided waves (GWs). The developed model is able to estimate the directivity patterns at any distance, at any excitation frequency and for any configuration and shape of the transducers with prior information of phase dispersive characteristics of the guided wave modes and the behavior of transducer. This, in turn, facilitates to choose the appropriate transducer or arrays of transducers, suitable guided wave modes and excitation frequency for the nondestructive testing (NDT) and structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The model is demonstrated for P1-type macro-fiber composite (MFC) transducer glued on a 2 mm thick aluminum (Al) alloy plate. The directivity patterns of MFC transducer in the generation of fundamental guided Lamb modes (the S0 and A0) and shear horizontal mode (the SH0) are successfully obtained at 80 kHz, 5-period excitation signal. The results are verified using 3D finite element (FE) modelling and experimental investigation. The results obtained using the proposed model shows the good agreement with those obtained using numerical simulations and experimental analysis. The calculation time using the analytical model was significantly shorter as compared to the time spent in experimental analysis and FE numerical modelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Vibration Characteristics on the Atomization Rate in a Micro-Tapered Aperture Atomizer
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040934 - 21 Mar 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Because little is known about the atomization theory of a micro-tapered aperture atomizer, we investigated the vibration characteristics of this type of atomizer. The atomization mechanism of a micro-tapered aperture atomizer was described, and the atomization rate equation was deduced. As observed via [...] Read more.
Because little is known about the atomization theory of a micro-tapered aperture atomizer, we investigated the vibration characteristics of this type of atomizer. The atomization mechanism of a micro-tapered aperture atomizer was described, and the atomization rate equation was deduced. As observed via microscopy, the angle of the micro-tapered aperture changes with the applied voltage, which proved the existence of a dynamic cone angle. The forward and reverse atomization rates were measured at various voltages, and the influence of the micro-tapered aperture and its variation on the atomization rate was characterized. The resonance frequency of the piezoelectric vibrator was obtained using a laser vibrometer, and the atomization rates were measured at each resonance frequency. From experiments, we found that the atomization rates at the first five resonance frequencies increased as the working frequency increased. At the fifth resonance frequency (121.1 kHz), the atomization rate was maximized (0.561 mL/min), and at the sixth resonance frequency (148.3 kHz), the atomization rate decreased significantly (0.198 mL/min). The experimental results show that the vibration characteristics of the piezoelectric vibrator have a relatively strong impact on the atomization rate. This research is expected to contribute to the manufacture of micro-tapered aperture atomizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Study and Optimisation of a Novel Single-Element Dual-Frequency Ultrasound Transducer
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030703 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
A dual-frequency ultrasound transducer (DFUT) is usually preferred for its numerous advantageous applications, especially in biomedical imaging and sensing. However, most of DFUTs are based on the combination of fundamental and harmonic operations, or integration of multiple different single-frequency ultrasound transducers, hindering perfect [...] Read more.
A dual-frequency ultrasound transducer (DFUT) is usually preferred for its numerous advantageous applications, especially in biomedical imaging and sensing. However, most of DFUTs are based on the combination of fundamental and harmonic operations, or integration of multiple different single-frequency ultrasound transducers, hindering perfect beam alignment and acoustic impedance matching. A novel single-element DFUT has been proposed in this paper. A small piezoelectric membrane is used as the high-frequency ultrasound transducer, which is stacked on a large non-piezoelectric elastic membrane with a groove used as the low-frequency capacitive ultrasound transducer. Such a capacitive-piezoelectric hybrid structure is theoretically analysed in details, based on the electrostatic attraction force and converse piezoelectric effect. Both the low and high resonance frequencies are independently derived, with a maximum deviation of less than 4% from the finite element simulations. Besides, a lumped-parameter equivalent circuit model of combining both the capacitive and piezoelectric ultrasound transducers was also described. Based on our dual-frequency structure design, a high-to-low frequency ratio of about 2 to more than 20 could be achieved, with easy and independent controllability of two frequencies, and the high-frequency operation shows at least an order-of-magnitude displacement sensitivity improvement compared with the conventional harmonic operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
The Dynamic Performance of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010270 - 18 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Flexural ultrasonic transducers are principally used as proximity sensors and for industrial metrology. Their operation relies on a piezoelectric ceramic to generate a flexing of a metallic membrane, which delivers the ultrasound signal. The performance of flexural ultrasonic transducers has been largely limited [...] Read more.
Flexural ultrasonic transducers are principally used as proximity sensors and for industrial metrology. Their operation relies on a piezoelectric ceramic to generate a flexing of a metallic membrane, which delivers the ultrasound signal. The performance of flexural ultrasonic transducers has been largely limited to excitation through a short voltage burst signal at a designated mechanical resonance frequency. However, a steady-state amplitude response is not generated instantaneously in a flexural ultrasonic transducer from a drive excitation signal, and differences in the drive characteristics between transmitting and receiving transducers can affect the measured response. This research investigates the dynamic performance of flexural ultrasonic transducers using acoustic microphone measurements and laser Doppler vibrometry, supported by a detailed mechanical analog model, in a process which has not before been applied to the flexural ultrasonic transducer. These techniques are employed to gain insights into the physics of their vibration behaviour, vital for the optimisation of industrial ultrasound systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Fiber-Optic Ring Acoustic Emission Sensor
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010215 - 13 Jan 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Acoustic emission technology has been applied to many fields for many years. However, the conventional piezoelectric acoustic emission sensors cannot be used in extreme environments, such as those with heavy electromagnetic interference, high pressure, or strong corrosion. In this paper, a novel fiber-optic [...] Read more.
Acoustic emission technology has been applied to many fields for many years. However, the conventional piezoelectric acoustic emission sensors cannot be used in extreme environments, such as those with heavy electromagnetic interference, high pressure, or strong corrosion. In this paper, a novel fiber-optic ring acoustic emission sensor is proposed. The sensor exhibits high sensitivity, anti-electromagnetic interference, and corrosion resistance. First, the principle of a novel fiber-optic ring sensor is introduced. Different from piezoelectric and other fiber acoustic emission sensors, this novel sensor includes both a sensing skeleton and a sensing fiber. Second, a heterodyne interferometric demodulating method is presented. In addition, a fiber-optic ring sensor acoustic emission system is built based on this method. Finally, fiber-optic ring acoustic emission experiments are performed. The novel fiber-optic ring sensor is glued onto the surface of an aluminum plate. The 150 kHz standard continuous sinusoidal signals and broken lead signals are successfully detected by the novel fiber-optic ring acoustic emission sensor. In addition, comparison to the piezoelectric acoustic emission sensor is performed, which shows the availability and reliability of the novel fiber-optic ring acoustic emission sensor. In the future, this novel fiber-optic ring acoustic emission sensor will provide a new route to acoustic emission detection in harsh environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Acoustic Radiation Force Based Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging for Biomedical Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2252; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072252 - 12 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Pathological changes in biological tissue are related to the changes in mechanical properties of biological tissue. Conventional medical screening tools such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography have failed to produce the elastic properties of biological tissues directly. Ultrasound elasticity imaging [...] Read more.
Pathological changes in biological tissue are related to the changes in mechanical properties of biological tissue. Conventional medical screening tools such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography have failed to produce the elastic properties of biological tissues directly. Ultrasound elasticity imaging (UEI) has been proposed as a promising imaging tool to map the elastic parameters of soft tissues for the clinical diagnosis of various diseases include prostate, liver, breast, and thyroid gland. Existing UEI-based approaches can be classified into three groups: internal physiologic excitation, external excitation, and acoustic radiation force (ARF) excitation methods. Among these methods, ARF has become one of the most popular techniques for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of disease. This paper provides comprehensive information on the recently developed ARF-based UEI techniques and instruments for biomedical applications. The mechanical properties of soft tissue, ARF and displacement estimation methods, working principle and implementation instruments for each ARF-based UEI method are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Acoustic Sensors for Air and Surface Navigation Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(2), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020499 - 07 Feb 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This paper presents the state-of-the-art and reviews the state-of-research of acoustic sensors used for a variety of navigation and guidance applications on air and surface vehicles. In particular, this paper focuses on echolocation, which is widely utilized in nature by certain mammals (e.g., [...] Read more.
This paper presents the state-of-the-art and reviews the state-of-research of acoustic sensors used for a variety of navigation and guidance applications on air and surface vehicles. In particular, this paper focuses on echolocation, which is widely utilized in nature by certain mammals (e.g., cetaceans and bats). Although acoustic sensors have been extensively adopted in various engineering applications, their use in navigation and guidance systems is yet to be fully exploited. This technology has clear potential for applications in air and surface navigation/guidance for intelligent transport systems (ITS), especially considering air and surface operations indoors and in other environments where satellite positioning is not available. Propagation of sound in the atmosphere is discussed in detail, with all potential attenuation sources taken into account. The errors introduced in echolocation measurements due to Doppler, multipath and atmospheric effects are discussed, and an uncertainty analysis method is presented for ranging error budget prediction in acoustic navigation applications. Considering the design challenges associated with monostatic and multi-static sensor implementations and looking at the performance predictions for different possible configurations, acoustic sensors show clear promises in navigation, proximity sensing, as well as obstacle detection and tracking. The integration of acoustic sensors in multi-sensor navigation systems is also considered towards the end of the paper and a low Size, Weight and Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) sensor integration architecture is presented for possible introduction in air and surface navigation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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