A novel method for digital ultrasonic time-of-flight measurement

Wang, X. F.; Tang, Z. A.
October 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2010, Vol. 81 Issue 10, p105112
Academic Journal
Most ultrasonic ranging measurements are based on the determination of the ultrasonic time-of-flight (TOF). This paper develops a novel method for the TOF measurement which combines both the improved self-interference driving technique and the optional optimization signal processing algorithms. By stimulating the transmitter with the amplitude modulation and the phase modulation envelope square waveforms (APESWs), the proposed system can effectively reduce the errors caused by inertia delay and amplitude attenuation. In addition, based on different signal-to-noise ratio test conditions, the resultant received zero-crossing samples, which are deteriorated by noise, can be precisely inspected and calculated with two optimized algorithms named zero-crossing tracking (ZCT) and time-shifted superposition (TSS) method. The architecture of the designed system is divided into two parts. The novel APESW driving module, the received envelope zero-crossings phase detection module, and the ZCT method processing module are designed in a complex programable logic device. The TSS signal processing module and the optimization algorithm discrimination program module are integrated in a digital signal processor. The TOF measurements calibrated in ultrasonic ranging experiments indicate that the relative errors of the method are limited in ±0.8%. Therefore, a feasible method is provided with the advantages of high noise immunity, accuracy, low cost, and ease of implementation.


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