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Physics Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 156396, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/156396
Research Article

Ultrasonic Measurements of Temperature in Aqueous Solutions: Why and How

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Received 30 September 2010; Revised 12 January 2011; Accepted 14 February 2011

Academic Editor: Faramarz Farahi

Copyright © 2011 A. Afaneh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The paper describes two different approaches to ultrasonic measurements of temperature in aqueous solutions. The first approach uses two narrowband ultrasonic transducers and support electronics that form an oscillating sensor which output frequency is related to the measured temperature. This low-cost sensor demonstrated sensitivity of about 40 Hz/K at the distance of 190 mm and the operating frequency of about 25 kHz. The second approach utilised pulse-echo mode at the centre frequency of 20 MHz. The reflector featured a cavity that was filled with deionised water. The ultrasound propagation delay in the cavity was related to the temperature in the solution. The experiments were conducted for deionised water, and solutions of sodium persulfate, sodium chloride, and acetic acid with concentrations up to 0.5 M. In the experiments (conducted within the temperature range from 15 to 30°C), we observed increases in the ultrasound velocity for increased temperatures and concentrations as was expected. Measurement results were compared with literature data for pure and seawater. It was concluded that ultrasonic measurements of temperature were conducted with the resolution well below 0.1 K for both methods. Advantages of ultrasonic temperature measurements over conventional thermometers were discussed.