Protection circuitry for high frequency ultrasonic NDE

Chaggares, N Chris; Tang, Raymond K.; Sinclair, Prof. A. N.; Foster, Prof. F. S.; Haraierciwz, Kasia; Starkoski, Brian
May 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 509 Issue 1, p1987
Academic Journal
Most commercial ultrasonic NDE equipment employs a voltage spike to stimulate a piezoelectric transducer. To protect the signal processing unit from damage from this spike, a voltage limiter or “diode clamp” is included in the pulser-receiver, and limits the voltage reaching the amplifier or oscilloscope. In this project, the deleterious effects of such limiters on the ultrasonic echo in the high frequency (50–100 MHz range) have been quantified: these effects include significant distortion in the frequency content, and oscillations causing a drop in timing resolution by over a factor of 2. To address these problems, a high-voltage high-frequency switch has been designed to replace the voltage limiter; the switch directs the high-voltage spike away from the signal processing/display unit, towards an impedance-matched termination. A prototype circuit has been built, based on two high-voltage MOSFET’s acting as a switch for the bi-polar stimulation pulse. The reduction in echo distortion and improvement in time resolution have been successfully modeled with the CAD tool HSPICE, although parasitic capacitance in the current generation of commercial MOSFET’s is a continuing concern. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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