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Title: Phased-array ultrasonic surface contour mapping system and method for solids hoppers and the like

A real time ultrasonic surface contour mapping system is provided including a digitally controlled phased-array of transmitter/receiver (T/R) elements located in a fixed position above the surface to be mapped. The surface is divided into a predetermined number of pixels which are separately scanned by an arrangement of T/R elements by applying phase delayed signals thereto that produce ultrasonic tone bursts from each T/R that arrive at a point X in phase and at the same time relative to the leading edge of the tone burst pulse so that the acoustic energies from each T/R combine in a reinforcing manner at point X. The signals produced by the reception of the echo signals reflected from point X back to the T/Rs are also delayed appropriately so that they add in phase at the input of a signal combiner. This combined signal is then processed to determine the range to the point X using density-corrected sound velocity values. An autofocusing signal is developed from the computed average range for a complete scan of the surface pixels. A surface contour map is generated in real time form the range signals on a video monitor.
Inventors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. (Morgantown, WV)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869441
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by Department of Energy (Washington, DC) NETL
Patent Number(s):
US 5337289
Research Org:
National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
phased-array; ultrasonic; surface; contour; mapping; method; solids; hoppers; time; provided; including; digitally; controlled; transmitter; receiver; elements; located; fixed; position; mapped; divided; predetermined; pixels; separately; scanned; arrangement; applying; phase; delayed; signals; thereto; produce; tone; bursts; arrive; relative; leading; edge; burst; pulse; acoustic; energies; combine; reinforcing; manner; produced; reception; echo; reflected; appropriately; add; input; signal; combiner; combined; processed; determine; range; density-corrected; sound; velocity; values; autofocusing; developed; computed; average; complete; scan; map; generated; form; video; monitor; phase delay; controlled phase; leading edge; fixed position; provided including; surface contour; signals produced; signals reflected; ultrasonic surface; sound velocity; digitally controlled; echo signals; elements located; sonic surface; contour mapping; delayed signal; controlled ph; /367/73/340/