What's an ultrasonic sensor?
An ultrasonic sensor is an electronic device that measures the distance of a target object by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and converts the reflected sound into an electrical signal. Ultrasonic waves travel faster than the speed of audible sound (i.e. the sound that humans can hear).
Ultrasonic sensors have two main components: the transmitter (which emits the sound using piezoelectric crystals) and the receiver (which encounters the sound after it has traveled to and from the target).
To calculate the distance between the sensor and the object, the sensor measures the time it takes between the emission of the sound by the transmitter to its contact with the receiver. The formula for this calculation is D = ½ T x C (where D is the distance, T is the time, and C is the speed of sound ~ 343 meters/second).
Types and varieties of ultrasonic sensors?
There are four major different types of ultrasonic sensors are currently in used,
Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors: In this ultrasonic proximity sensor, a special type of sonic transducer is used for alternate transmission and reception of sound waves.
Ultrasonic 2 Point Proximity Switches: This sensor consists of 2 points for switching, therefore it is called 2-point proximity switches. It is almost similar to standard sensor only differ the 2-touch set up key and this function is called Tech-in function.
Ultrasonic Retro-reflective Sensors: The operation of the ultrasonic retro-reflective sensor is similar to an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The only difference, in this sensor the distance between sensor to the reflector is measured by measuring the propagation time.
Ultrasonic Through Beam Sensors: Ultrasonic thru-beam sensors are always comprised of two separate components: the emitter and the receiver. The evaluation and switching output electronics are in the receiver.
What can be made using ultrasonic sensors?The following projects are based on the Ultrasonic sensor. There are some latest innovative projects which can be built by students to develop hands-on experience in areas related to/ using the Ultrasonic sensor.
- Mobile Robot Navigation System.
- GPS-Guided Mobile Robot.
- Smart Walking Cane.
- Pneumatic Braking System.
- Automated Solar Grass Cutter.
- Ultrasonic Distance Finder Using 8051.
- Drowsiness Prevention and Collision Avoidance System.
- Collision Avoidance Robot.
How to use an ultrasonic sensor generally?
The ultrasonic sensor is used in oil, chemical, milk, or water tanks for level measurements or for liquid level control.
This sensor is used in thru beam detection for high-speed counting.
This sensor is used in the robotic industry for robot sensing.
This sensor is used in a car parking system where car entry is controlled through the barrier system, the barrier must not be lowered when there is beneath a vehicle. This whole process is controlled through the ultrasonic sensor.
This sensor is used with bottle cutting and drink filling machines, where the bottle is detecting at serval points and for this continuous monitoring the ultrasonic sensor is used.
This sensor is used in transporting printed circuit boards (PCBs) industry where smartphones, computer motherboards, and home appliances circuit boards are designed and print.
This sensor is used in the car manufacturing industry for manufacturing or assembles the car automatically.
- This sensor is used in a car washing system for detecting and washing the car automatically.
- This sensor is used for detecting the speed of a motor or generator.
- This sensor is also used in a presence detection system.
History of the Ultrasonic sensor
Soviet Scientist Sergei Y. Sokolov is considered the father of modern ultrasonic testing. In 1928, Sokolov successfully demonstrated how to use ultrasonics to detect flaws in metals. Unsurprisingly, Sokolov proposed that this technique would be beneficial in the industrial arena for testing irregularities in solid materials. Sokolov's experimentation laid the groundwork for future developments in ultrasonic testing (Portal of Non-Destructive Testing).
Similar Products to the Ultrasonic sensor.There is a wide variety of sensors available that operate at different frequencies and have different beam angles. In addition, systems can have different electronics options such as temperature sensing and signal averaging. Similar products are:
- Cubic sensors—versatile in respect of design and application
- Cylindrical sensors—maximum flexibility for diverse applications
- Chemically resistant ultrasonic sensors
- Double sheet sensors—safe process operation and high plant availability
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