Ultrasonic flow meters (UFMs) based on transducer arrays offer several advantages. With electronic beam steering, it is possible to tune the steering angle of the beam for optimal signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) upon reception. Moreover, multiple beams can be generated to propagate through different travel paths, covering a wider section of the flow profile. Furthermore, in a clamp-on configuration, UFMs based on transducer arrays can perform self-calibration. In this manner, userinput is minimized and measurement repeatability is increased. In practice, transducer array elements may break down. This could happen due to aging, exposure to rough environments, and/or rough mechanical contact. As a consequence of inactive array elements, the measured transit time difference contains two offsets. One offset originates from non-uniform spatial sampling of the generated wavefield. Another offset originates from the ill-defined beam propagating through a travel path different from the intended one. In this paper, an algorithm is proposed that corrects for both of these offsets. The algorithm also performs a filtering operation in the frequency-wavenumber domain of all spurious (i.e., flow-insensitive) wave modes. The advantage of implementing the proposed algorithm is demonstrated on simulations and measurements, showing improved accuracy and precision of the transit time differences compared to the values obtained when the algorithm is not applied. The proposed algorithm can be implemented in both in-line and clamp-on configuration of UFMs based on transducer arrays.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is part of the research project FLOW+, which is financed by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW (project 15031) and industrial partners Bronkhorst and KROHNE.
© 2022 by the authors.