Ultrasonic Sensor

Ultrasonic Sensor

Ultrasonic sensors (also known as transceivers when they both send and receive, but more generally called transducers) work on a principle similar to radar or sonar which evaluate attributes of a target by interpreting the echoes from radio or sound waves respectively. Ultrasonic sensors generate high frequency sound waves and evaluate the echo which is received back by the sensor. Sensors calculate the time interval between sending the signal and receiving the echo to determine the distance to an object.

This technology can be used for measuring: wind speed and direction (anemometer), tank or channel level, and speed through air or water. For measuring speed or direction a device uses multiple detectors and calculates the speed from the relative distances to particulates in the air or water. To measure tank or channel level, the sensor measures the distance to the surface of the fluid. Further applications include: humidifiers, sonar, medical ultrasonography, burglar alarms and non-destructive testing.

Systems typically use a transducer which generates sound waves in the ultrasonic range, above 18,000 hertz, by turning electrical energy into sound, then upon receiving the echo turn the sound waves into electrical energy which can be measured and displayed.

The technology is limited by the shapes of surfaces and the density or consistency of the material. Foam, in particular, can distort surface level readings.

Read more about Ultrasonic Sensor:  Transducers, Use in Medicine, Use in Industry

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