Ultrasonic sensor solutions are devices that measure the distance of an object by utilizing sound waves. These waves tend to travel faster than the speed of the sound that humans can hear. This essentially converts back the reflected sound into a kind of an electronic signal that sends relevant information to the distance of a particular object.
Two main components are used in these sensors: the receiver and the transmitter. Transmitters may emit a sound using piezoelectric crystals, while the receiver will encounter the sound once it has traveled from a target object and the data is then generated. For more information, there are sites like the SensComp Sensor Solutions that will help you know more about the kits that you need and other components for these devices. There’s a wide range of parts, evaluation kits, and plug-and-play systems available online that are durable and accurate so be sure to check them.
Calculations are involved to know the distance of the target object. The sensors measure the time it will take between the emission of the sound to get in contact with the receiver. This is where the formula D = 1.2 T X C is used. The D is the total distance, the T is time, and the C is a constant of 342m/s. If a scientist will setup an ultrasonic sensor that aims at a table, and it takes about 0.025 seconds for it to bounce back, the formula would be written as follows:
D = 0.05 x 0.025 x 343
And the result will be a distance of about 4.287 m.
Applications and Uses
- Medical applications like ultrasounds
- Sensing in AI
- Loop Control
- Tension control, winding and unwinding roll diameter
- Control of liquid levels
- Full detection
- Beam detection used for high-speed counts
- Wire or thread break detection
- Robotics sensing and signals
- Stacking height controls
- Deflection and inkwell level detection
- Counting and people detection
- Profiling and contouring frequently used in ultrasonic systems
- Vehicle detection for automotive assembly or car washing
- Irregular parts detection for feeder bowls and hoppers
- Detection of an object’s presence
- Box-sorting operations with the help of the ultrasonic monitoring systems
Parts of the Sensors
The first ultrasonic waves are often produced through ceramic products or an oscillator. This has a diameter of about 15 mm, and it can radiate into the air. This is the transmitter part.
When the oscillator receives the emitted ultrasonic wave, there’s the corresponding mechanical vibration that can convert the wave and make it into electrical energy. This is going to serve as an output of the receiver.
There’s the utilization of an integrated ultrasonic sensor circuit that may control the transmission and determine the overall size of the received signal. The controls will also determine whether the receiver received an ultrasonic signal back.
4. Power Supply
A direct current power supply often powers these devices. The standards are 24V±10% or 12V±10%. They are then supplied to the sensor using an internal voltage to stabilize the entire circuitry.
The device’s core is a piezoelectric chip contained in plastic or a metal package. This chip can be of any size and comprises different kinds of materials. The thickness and diameter may be different, so you should expect that the probe performance may vary. Before getting one, it’s imperative to know how the device will perform when you use it, and there are performance indicators for these, including:
1. Current Working Frequency
The piezoelectric chip’s resonant frequency is the operating frequency used to measure the device’s performance. When the sensor frequency of the AC voltages is equal to that of the chip, the sensitivity will be at its highest, and the energy output will be at a maximum. See more information about the AC voltage in this url.
2. Operating Temperature
Usually, the piezoelectric materials have a high Curie point, especially those in ultrasonic probes used to diagnose medical conditions. The temperature is very low, and the probes will work for a very long time without the need for constant maintenance. The medical probes may require a different refrigeration unit for cooling because of their higher temperatures, so this is something that you should consider.
3. Sensitivity and Directivity
The sensitivity may generally depend on the chip’s manufacturer. If there’s a high coefficient in the electro-mechanical coupling, you’ll get a pretty high sensitivity. Otherwise, if you’ll have a low coefficient, the sensitivity will also be lower. Directivity is defined as the detection range of ultrasonic sensors.
Further Information for the Ultrasonic Sound Wave
First of all, one should know about the ultrasonic frequency range. The sound that people hear is from the vibration of objects around them, where the frequency can range from 20Hz to 20KHz. The sound with a frequency of more than 20KHz is considered an ultrasonic wave, and those that are less than 20Hz are called infrasonic.
Ultrasonics is a kind of mechanical oscillation, and they can be distinguished by their two forms: longitudinal and transverse waves. It can travel through different solids, liquids, and gasses at varying speeds. Aside from this, there’s also the reflection and refraction phenomena to consider and the propagation process.
If the ultrasonic audio is transmitted in the air, the frequency can be low and about 10KHz. In a liquid or solid frequency, it’s going to be higher. The attenuation in the air is also fast, but it’s going to be slow in solid and liquid. A measuring device made up of sensors is usually used in home appliances, medical equipment, and major communication lines based on ultrasonic properties.
The primary materials that make up these sensors are Nickel-ferric aluminum alloy and piezoelectric crystals. The first is magnetostrictive, and the crystals are electrostrictive. This is a sensor with reversible features, and it generally converts the electricity that it receives into mechanical oscillations. These oscillations are the ones that produce ultrasonic waves. At the same time, when they are receiving the ultrasonic waves, it’s also converted into electric energy.