A Sensor Based on a Spherical Parallel Mechanism for the Measurement of Fluid Velocity: Experimental Development
In this paper, an experimental demonstration was developed, to measure the velocity of a fluid by using a sensor based on the spherical parallel mechanism with three degrees-of-freedom. This sensor transforms the kinetic energy of the fluid into potential energy by deforming the parallel mechanism. This deformation is due to the impact of the fluid on a sphere attached to the platform of the parallel mechanism. Through the acquisition of data from an inertial measurement unit in the sphere, an algorithm calculates the velocity and direction of the fluid. The mathematic model and algorithm of the velocity measurement was developed in a previous article. This paper built and tested the sensor with the objective of demonstrating the theoretical basis for the sensor. The experiment is based on the underwater movement of the sensor in a linear way along a rail. The velocity that is measured by the linear encoder is equal to the fluid's relative velocity that is measured by the sensor. The measurements taken by the encoder and the sensor were compared in three experiments. The results show that the two measurements were similar, demonstrating that the sensor can accurately measure the velocity of the fluid.
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