Nonlinearities in ultrasonic flow measurement

Morten Willatzen, H. Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The governing equations of flow acoustics including nonlinearities are solved and analyzed in terms of ultrasonic flow-measurement properties. The effect of nonlinearities for sound propagation is expected to be most significant for gas-flow measurement applications as gas-sound speeds are much smaller while fluid flows generally are much higher in the corresponding case of liquid-flow measurement applications. The equation framework is applied to the case of a sinusoidal ultrasound transducer speed excitation at one location and detected by a receiver at another location. Flowmeter errors due to nonlinearities are highlighted in this work based on the well-known transit-time reciprocal transducer system setup. It is found that accounting for nonlinear effects leads to, for a given flowmeter configuration and in a large flow range, an almost constant error which can be calibrated out in applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFlow Measurement and Instrumentation
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)79-84
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ultrasonic flow measurement
  • Nonlinear acoustics


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