An ultrasonic array sensor for spacecraft leak direction finding
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We have developed an ultrasonic array sensor useable for locating air leaks in manned spacecraft and have found that this sensor locates leaks in a 1-m2 plate to within 2 cm. The sensor consists of a 63-element multiplexed array plus a reference element, all constructed from a single PZT disc and a printed circuit board. Cross-correlations of signals from the array elements with signals from the single reference element provide a measurement of the leak noise passing through the spacecraft skin under the array. A spatial Fourier transform reveals the dominant direction of propagation. Triangulation from multiple sensor locations can be used to find the source of the leak.
This is a post-print of an article from Ultrasonics, 45, no. 1–4 (December 2006): 121–126, doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2006.07.020.