We asked Dileepa Prabhakar, Senior Manager of Technology Incubation at Fluke, what he thought about Fluke’s acoustic imaging camera technology. Here’s what he had to say.
“The Fluke ii900 Industrial Acoustic Imager has an array of 64 ultrasonic microphones and uses a technology called beamforming to be able to essentially triangulate back to where the sound is coming from. It's a pretty cool technology.
The technology itself has existed for, I don't know, more than a decade or decades even. But what's new and innovative is that the MEMS microphone sensors are really small and you're able to now have the processing power in a compact form factor.
The prototype that we had back then before it was even a product you could just scan around and it would immediately show you where the leaks were. Out of that came the view that we could blow the existing solutions out of the water when it comes to detecting compressed gas leaks.
The current state [before the acoustic imaging camera solution] was needing to call in an expert that used a parabolic dish and an ultrasonic gun to find leaks at a facility. And it would take the shutting down of the facility in order to be able to detect leaks. And you'll only find maybe 25% of the leaks.
We had a prototype—a working prototype—and when we pulled it out and handed it to the customer and they took it and very intuitively they just started pointing it at things that they suspected would be candidates for leaks and they would identify leaks in seconds.
And these leaks were high up—forty or fifty feet up—on the ceiling and sometimes hidden behind machines. And you could still detect leaks because you could find the reflection the echo of the sound coming through and you could use that to spot leaks that would otherwise be invisible, so to speak.
And the cool thing about this is that you can actually see this overlaid on top of a video feed a visual light image.”