Hanscom Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Meeting

Thursday, 11 May 2006

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Auditorium

Refreshments: 3:30 PM, Talk 4 - 5 PM

Joint Meeting with the IEEE Life Members


Ultrasonic Flowmeters: Learn by Going With & Against the Flow

Larry Lynnworth, Lynnworth Technical Services, Waltham, MA

Flowmeters in general, and ultrasonic flowmeters in particular, do not seem important nor broad enough to warrant headlines in our newspapers or technical journals. Nevertheless, can a study of their commercial evolution during the past fifty years reveal aspects of a more general nature that warrant our attention?

The physical principles underlying today’s main ultrasonic flowmeters (contrapropagation, Doppler, vortex shedding) were known in the 1800s. Commercial activity began in the 1950s. Today, ~10% of the world’s $3B annual flowmeter sales are ultrasonic. This growth is often explained in terms of technical features such as accuracy, clamp-on convenience, or multiparameter sensing (e.g. flow velocity plus density or energy content, leading to mass or energy flowrate). The main reasons for growth, however, might involve factors beyond price and performance. Besides exploring the measuring principles that underlie acceptance of ultrasonic flowmeters, the talk tries to identify ultrasonic sensor patterns and sensing opportunities elsewhere, and particularly in industrial process control: temperature, pressure, and level.

Larry received a BEE from NYU and an MS in EE from Stanford University. After active duty in the Signal Corps, he joined Avco, applying ultrasonics to problems in NDT and ablation gaging. After three years he moved to Panametrics, where, for 41 years, he continued developing ultrasonic measuring methods and apparatus until retiring in 2003. During the latter part of his Panametrics career he was VP of R&D in Process Control Instrumentation. He founded the consulting firm Lynnworth Technical Services in 2004. [Details: www.lynnworthtechnicalservices.com]

Within his specialty, Larry is probably best known for his 1989 book, Ultrasonic Measurements for Process Control. He has published over 200 technical papers and reports, and authored or co-authored chapters in seven books by others. He has 48 US patents and a number of corresponding foreign patents.He’s received two John Vaaler Awards and NASA New Technology Awards. In 1993 he was elected an IEEE Fellow for contributions to flow, liquid level and temperature measurements. He has held elected positions in ASNT, ASTM, and IEEE. He’s been a reviewer for APS, IEEE, NSF, and IOP (UK). He served on the IEEE UFFC Technical Program Committee, 2003-2005, and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Sensors magazine for two years. He’s a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. He tutors at a Waltham elementary school, and has been one of the Science Fair judges at the Masconomet Regional High School.

The meeting will be held at the Lincoln Lab Auditorium at 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served at 3:30 PM.  Registration is in the main lobby.  Foreign national visitors to Lincoln Lab require visit requests.  You may also pre-register by e-mail to Roslyn Wesley, rwesley@ll.mit.edu; please indicate your citizenship. You will not receive a confirmation of your pre-registration, however, your badge will be ready for you when you register.   Please use the Wood Street Gate.  For directions go to http://www.ll.mit.edu For other information, contact Ed Altshuler, Chairman at (781)377-4662 or edward.altshuler@hanscom.af.mil