Abstract: An ultrasonic level sensor includes: a housing; an ultrasonic transducer having a face surface for emitting an ultrasonic signal; a reflector with a flat surface positioned at an angle with respect to the face surface of the ultrasonic transducer for reflecting and directing the ultrasonic signal to a surface of a material in a container; and a scattering structure to reflect unwanted scattered ultrasonic signals away from the surface of the liquid, wherein the ultrasonic signal is reflected from the surface of the material and from the flat surface of the reflector and received by the ultrasonic transducer.
February 15, 2017
Date of Patent:
September 10, 2019
Larry Elvert Carter, Michael Richard Ehlert, Michael Joseph Rafferty
Abstract: A system for determining the depth of a fluid in a storage tank. The depth of the fluid is determined after the detection of a pulsed wave that is reflected from the top surface of the fluid. The system includes a transducer, an analog-to-digital converter, and a filter. The transducer is configured to sense the reflected pulsed wave and to generate an analog input signal that corresponds to the reflected pulsed wave. The analog-to-digital converter is coupled to the transducer, and configured to convert the analog input signal into a digital input signal. The filter is coupled to the analog-to-digital converter. The filter includes a finite impulse response filter that is configured to receive the digital input signal and to generate a digital output signal.
Abstract: A liquid level sensing apparatus, and related method, that utilizes a tuning fork assembly to detect the presence of not only a liquid or air at a particular location within a container, but also a solid material at that location. The tuning fork assembly includes an excitation transducer and a receiving transducer mechanically coupled to a pair of paddles that are exposed within the container, and a phase-locked loop control system applies an excitation signal to the excitation transducer having a frequency that is regulated to track the tuning fork's resonant frequency. A comparator compares that resonant frequency with a prescribed threshold, to determine whether the tuning fork assembly is disposed in air or a liquid. A failure of the phase-locked loop control system to lock the frequency of the excitation signal at any particular frequency indicates that the tuning fork assembly is over-damped and likely contacted by a solid material.
January 16, 1996
Date of Patent:
April 20, 1999
Jeffrey D. Wilson, Carl R. Haynie, William L. McGeary
Abstract: A time-domain reflectometer is disclosed for reliably measuring the level of a liquid in a tank. The reflectometer emits an acoustic signal into a waveguide that projects downwardly into the tank and receives a return acoustic signal reflected from the surface of the liquid. The time delay between the transmitted acoustic signal and the reflected acoustic signal is a measure of the level of the liquid, and the reflectometer converts this level measurement into a electrical current that is linearly proportioned between predetermined minimum and maximum values. In addition, the reflectometer incorporates a liquid- and vapor-impervious membrane disposed in the path of the transmitted and reflected acoustic signals, adjacent to the transmitter and receiver, to prevent the escape of liquid and vapor from the tank and to isolate the electronics, including the transmitter and receiver, from such liquid and vapor.
Abstract: A threshold calibration method and apparatus calibrates a reference voltage representing a selected threshold and compares the reference voltage with a measurement voltage representing a variable parameter to indicate the condition of the variable parameter. The reference voltage is set by causing the variable parameter to assume a predetermined high value and adjusting a first potentiometer to provide a first calibration voltage equal to the measurement voltage representing the high value. The variable parameter is then caused to assume a predetermined low value and a second potentiometer is adjusted to provide a second calibration voltage equal to the measurement voltage representing the low value. The first and second calibration voltages are then combined using passive resistive components to provide a reference voltage representing the selected threshold.
Abstract: A continuous liquid level measuring system having a guarded capacitance probe and related drive circuit for providing accurate level measurements, even when measuring the level of ionic and highly viscous fluids. The capacitance probe has two parallel electrodes, each constructed of a half-tube section, that are separated from each other by an insulated guard wire. The probe is excited by a 1 MHz excitation signal applied across the electrodes. The current through the electrodes is a function of the capacitance between the electrodes, which is affected by the relative permitivity of the surrounding liquid. The effects of highly viscous ionic liquids that adhere to the probe are reduced by exciting the guard wire with a guard signal that is 180.degree. out of phase from the probe's excitation signal. The guard signal changes the electric field existing in the space adjacent the junctions of the two electrodes to reduce any liquid coating effects on the level measurement.