An ultrasonic array sensor for spacecraft leak direction finding
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.