On the use of power reflection ratio and phase change to determine the geometry of a blockage in a pipe

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Applied Acoustics, 2015, 87 pp. 190 - 197
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Blockages may be detected in pipes by sending acoustic signals down the pipe and measuring the echo from the blockage. This presents a fast and efficient way of determining the presence of a blockage and this method is now being used, for example, to probe the integrity of sewer systems. In this article a method is presented for obtaining both the length and the equivalent cross-sectional area of a blockage using only a single microphone to capture the incident and reflected pulse. The method presented uses the change in phase between the incident and reflected acoustic signals caused by a blockage, as well as the difference in the amplitude of each pulse, to generate two independent equations from which the area ratio and the length of the blockage may be recovered. This requires measurements to be carried out in the plane wave region of the pipe, however it is shown that through appropriate processing of each signal in the frequency domain the area ratio and length of a relatively large number of blockages can be successfully recovered. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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