Applications of acoustic holography technology
In my last article I told you about the new acoustic holography technology which is the basis of SVS. Now we at Arman have successfully completed a pilot project in which we demonstrated the results of this technology. But before we were invited to participate in the pilot project, we came a long way. We were looking for applications of acoustic holography technology. We put together several scenarios for using SVS.
Where can acoustic holography technology be useful?
1. Non-contact fault diagnosis of equipment
Continuous operation is the most important requirement for equipment. Installations are running virtually non-stop, so there are stringent requirements.
Detecting and precisely locating faults at an early stage is a major challenge.
We had the task of investigating a unit at a steel mill.
Over several days we recorded the operation of the unit. We analyzed the acoustic patterns and found that there were abnormalities in the machine’s operation.
As a result of this research, my team and I were able to discover new possibilities for SVS:
- Continuous, non-contact monitoring of unit operation
- Diagnosis of faults at an early stage
- Precise localization of the detected fault
- Instantaneous automatic reaction when a fault is detected
2. Acoustic impact monitoring
Noise is a pollutant that is often underestimated. There are studies that show that at least 2 percent of all heart attack victims are related to traffic noise. At night, traffic noise can disrupt health by affecting sleep quality.
Therefore, the requirements imposed by legislators on the operation of technical devices are becoming increasingly stringent. It is not enough to know the noise level, it is necessary to localize it precisely in order to take measures to eliminate it.
Our colleagues from a large railroad company asked us to assess the impact of rail type on noise characteristics. To do this, we needed to measure the noise level when different materials were used in the construction of rails.
A sound map was built. We analyzed the acoustic footprint, and the result was that one type of rail had a lower noise level.
The study helped open up new possibilities for SVS in this area as well:
- Monitoring acoustic conditions near railroad tracks
- Monitoring of acoustic conditions in order to control the volume of warning systems
- Monitoring of compliance with environmental regulations regarding noise levels
3. Leak detection in pipeline structures
Statistics show that hundreds of pipeline accidents, both domestic and foreign, occur annually, resulting in reduced flow capacity, environmental contamination and costly, in terms of finances, repairs.
Line integrity is the most important problem of pipeline operation, which can be solved by systematic control of pipeline leaks and timely elimination of detected defects.
The main requirement for the means and methods of detecting significant leaks is fast location of the leak.
Leak location is a delicate matter. In a noisy room it’s impossible to hear a leak with your ear, but with acoustic holography technology you can. We were able to detect a suspicious sound source in one plant that we didn’t even know existed.
Such a scenario opened up new SVS capabilities for us:
- Monitoring the integrity of main gas and oil pipelines
- Rapid leak detection
- Leak detection on pipeline structure
- Possibility of post-reporting of repair work before and after the leak is repaired
- Leak notification and display of the leak location on the screen.
4. Fault detection in power grids
Power transmission lines are the connecting element in power systems. To reduce transmission losses over long distances and detect faults in time, it is necessary to use monitoring and diagnostic tools for electrical equipment.
We were tasked with detecting the location of corona discharges in a traction substation. As a result of our work on this case, we identified new SVS capabilities for detecting faults in power grids:
- Detection of potential problems in electrical networks from the ground during routine inspections
- Ability to install a UV camera to conduct surveillance in the UV spectrum
- Corona discharge location search
- Finding faulty insulators
- Integration into monitoring system
- Service notification of malfunctions
- Equipment stays in operation without putting the line out of service
We at Arman continue to explore new areas where acoustic holography technology can be useful.