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Help: Sensor needed for very special application:
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lucasjensen@gmail.com
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Help: Sensor needed for very special application: Reply with quote

Setup:
1. A dark chamber (Hermetically closed).
2. In the chamber a circular disc is mounted on an electric motor. The
disc is mounted horizontally in the chamber.
3. The diameter of the disc is 2 meters (2 yards).
4. Now the disc runs at about 25 rpm and a mix of sand and rocks is
poured on the table.
5. Due to centrifugal forces the sand/rock mixture starts to move
outwards.
6. While running there is also a dust/sandstorm present inside the
chamber. The dust/sandstorm is so severe that one cannot see a hand in
front of himself (with a torch).

Under those conditions I want to be able to measure the sand/rock flow
on the table. I want to see what happens when and how the sand/rocks
move towards the edge of the disc. I want to see how fast, I want to
see if anything builds up etc etc. The perfect thing would be to
install a video camera inside the chamber but due to the sandstorm this
is virtually impossible to my opinion. Are there any sensors available
giving a hight profile as an output? What about doppler, ultrasound,
infrared and so on? What is the most promising sensor solution for this
project?

To me, this sensor looks very interesting:

http://www.sick.com/de/products/categories/industrial/lightsectionsensors/en.html

....but I'm afraid that this wont work because the laser light wont be
able to penetrate my sandstorm.

Do you experts have any solutions for my problem?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After measuring the material flow on the table, I need to measure how
the particles move in the sandstorm - more precisely in what direction
they are moving and at what velocities. What sensors would be suitable
for that task?

PS: All sorts of equipment can be installed inside the chamber, such as
flourescent light, regular light etc etc.

Thank you in advance, L. Jensen
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Bob Eldred
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: Re: Sensor needed for very special application: Reply with quote

"BikeManiac" <lucasjensen@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1152533093.745612.323010@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
Quote:
Setup:
1. A dark chamber (Hermetically closed).
2. In the chamber a circular disc is mounted on an electric motor. The
disc is mounted horizontally in the chamber.
3. The diameter of the disc is 2 meters (2 yards).
4. Now the disc runs at about 25 rpm and a mix of sand and rocks is
poured on the table.
5. Due to centrifugal forces the sand/rock mixture starts to move
outwards.
6. While running there is also a dust/sandstorm present inside the
chamber. The dust/sandstorm is so severe that one cannot see a hand in
front of himself (with a torch).

Under those conditions I want to be able to measure the sand/rock flow
on the table. I want to see what happens when and how the sand/rocks
move towards the edge of the disc. I want to see how fast, I want to
see if anything builds up etc etc. The perfect thing would be to
install a video camera inside the chamber but due to the sandstorm this
is virtually impossible to my opinion. Are there any sensors available
giving a hight profile as an output? What about doppler, ultrasound,
infrared and so on? What is the most promising sensor solution for this
project?

To me, this sensor looks very interesting:


http://www.sick.com/de/products/categories/industrial/lightsectionsensors/en

..html
Quote:

...but I'm afraid that this wont work because the laser light wont be
able to penetrate my sandstorm.

Do you experts have any solutions for my problem?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After measuring the material flow on the table, I need to measure how
the particles move in the sandstorm - more precisely in what direction
they are moving and at what velocities. What sensors would be suitable
for that task?

PS: All sorts of equipment can be installed inside the chamber, such as
flourescent light, regular light etc etc.

Thank you in advance, L. Jensen

Ultrasound is probably your best bet. I envision some form of side scan
sonar like used to visulize the sea floor, etc. It sends out an ultrasonic
pulse directed at an angle to the rotating disk then listens for recived
reflections off of the disk. The arival time of the reflected waves is
proportional to the distance of the reflection from the disk thus forming a
scan. The fine scale time variations are used to image the shapes of objects
on the disk Doppler can be used to determine if there is relative motion of
the objects. The scan is repeated many times per second to build of an image
of objects on the disk as it rotates. Several of these side scan units could
be employed around the disk to enhance the image of the detected objects and
to determine how things moved with rotation angle. This would require a fair
degree of digital image processing, but I think, is doable. Needless to say
you are probably not going to find a ready made, off the shelf hardware and
software to do this. Be prepared to spend some bucks.
Bob
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