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I2MTC 2009 - International Instrumentation and Measurement

Technology Conference
Singapore, 5-7 May 2009

Design of Electromagnetic Tomography System

based on Integrated Impedance Analyzer
Ze Liu1, Wuliang Yin2 , Xiufang Sun3

School of Electronic Information and Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, P.R.China,
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
School of Mechanical and Electronics Engineering, Beijing Union University, Beijing, P.R. China

As one of electrical process tomography techniques,

Electromagnetic Tomography (EMT) has the unique advantage
that it employs magnetic inductance measurements to extract
tomographic data related to permeability and conductivity
distributions [1]. So EMT techniques have the potential
applications in the industrial process monitoring in situations
where the object material contains high contrasts in
conductivity and/or permeability. These applications include
tracking of ferrite labeled powder in transport separation
process, foreign body detection and location, food inspection
and fault detection of metal components [2, 3]. Although the
resolution of reconstruct images in EMT is not as high as X-ray
Computerized Tomography (CT), it is accurate enough for
some monitoring application systems which only require
coarse image information. Recent years, EMT application
system such as steel flow visualization system has been
developed and brought obvious improvement for the inspection
of steel production process [4, 5]. Nevertheless the ordinary
EMT system is not convenient to install in many industrial
environment because the size of frontend electronics chassis of
EMT is too large and the connection between EMT sensor and
signal process chassis is too complicated. The purpose of this
paper is to develop a prototype EMT system which has the
characteristic of small size, lesser and tidy cable connections.
To realize this aim a kind of integrated impedance analyzer IC
is used to replace the traditional analog multiplication
demodulation circuit and Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS)

A. System Structure
The structure of the EMT system is shown as Fig. 1. The
prototype system is designed with three parts which are sensor,
frontend electronics chassis and image reconstruction
computer. The sensor is connected with electronics chassis by
shielded cable including excitation and measurement signal.
The electronics chassis is connected with image reconstruction
computer by a USB 2.0 cable.

USB 2.0






Excitation Siganl

Keywords: Electromagnetic tomography; Signal demodulation;

Impedance anaylize; Sensor array; Embedded Instrument

excitation signal generation circuit. To reduce the cable

connection the data transmission between image reconstruct
computer and front chassis is designed to use only a USB 2.0
link. A 32 bits ARM7 microcontroller with a full speed USB
2.0 controller integrated is used to undertake communication
task and to control the process of the distribution of excitation
signal and measurement multiplexer.


Abstract An Electromagnetic Tomography (EMT) prototype

system based on integrated impedance analyzer is proposed and
developed in this paper. In the prototype system the excitation
signal generation and measurement signal demodulation are both
realized by using an integrated impedance analyzer IC controlled
by an embedded microcontroller. The sensor is constructed with
a parallel excitation layer, which is realized with flexible circuit
strips as current sources, and coil detector array. The sensor
simulation and image reconstruction experimental results of the
prototype EMT system are also introduced. The experimental
image reconstructions show that the prototype system can locate
the distributions of test objects. This work provides a solution
that the EMT system can be developed as an embedded
instrument to meet the requirement of industrial environment.

Figure 1. Structure of the EMT prototype system

The sensor array consists of 16 flexible circuit strips and 16

detection coils. The excitation strips are used to generate a
rotatable parallel excitation field. The current excitation and
detector signal measurement are controlled by a 32bits ARM7
(LPC2148) embedded microcontroller. The microcontrollers
General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) controls the current
distribution of Voltage Controlled Current Source (VCCS)
array to generate excitation magnetic field. The excitation
signal generation and measurement signal demodulation are
realized by using an integrated impedance analyzer IC
(AD5933). The AD5933 integrates all basic elements circuit

The work is supported by The National 863 High-Tech R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2007AA11Z118) and NSFC (Grant No. 60776831).

978-1-4244-3353-7/09/$25.00 2009 IEEE

used in the digital signal demodulation of an EMT system.

These elements are DDS, Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT)
processing core, ADC, DAC, Low Pass Filter (LPF),
Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) and high speed digital
communication interface. The integrated impedance analyzer is
controlled by the LPC2148 via an I2C interface to exchange
command word and demodulation result data. The sampling
speed of the ADC integrated in AD5933 is 1 MSPS at
precision of 12 bits. The 16 detector coils signal is amplified
by 16 pre-amplifiers and switched by a multiplexer which
connects to the AD5933s PGA. The selected signal is then
sampled by the in-chip ADC and demodulated by DFT
algorithm which is processed by an in-chip DSP engine. The
DFT algorithm returns Real (R) and Imaginary (I) data-word at
each output frequency. The frequency of the impedance
analyzing can get up to 100 kHz. [6]
The DFT algorithm in the AD5933 is as (1)

X ( f ) = ( x(n)(cos(n) j sin(n)))


n =0

Where, X(f) is the power in the signal at the frequency point

f. x(n) is the ADCs output. cos(n) and sin(n) are the sampled
test vectors provided by the DDS core at the frequency point f.
The multiplication is accumulated over 1024 samples for each
frequency point. The result is stored in two 16-bit registers
representing the real and imaginary components of the result.
According to a serial of instruction commands the integrated
impedance analyzer can work in single frequency mode or
frequency sweeping mode. So the signal of different frequency
points can be demodulated by the sweeping function according
to a sweeping step. The program of excitation and
demodulation is running in the LPC2148 which runs at 60
MHz with 512K Bytes memory. The program of the ARM7 is
written by C programming language and compiled in an ARM
Development Studio (ADS) environment.
As shown in Fig.2, the EMT systems sensor unit is
connected with the electronics case by a DB25 connector with
a shielded poly core cable for excitation and 16 shielded signal
cables for measurement. The frontend electronics case is
connected with an image reconstruction PC only by a USB
cable. Also there is a process monitor LCD panel installed on
the side of the electronics case, which enables the status of the
measurement process to be indicated.

As shown in Fig.2, there are an ATX (Advanced

Technology Extended) sized analog Printed Circuit Board
(PCB), a small digital PCB and a power module in the
electronics case. To avoid the interference from the high
frequency digital signal of embedded microcontroller the
analog PCB is designed and installed separately with digital
PCB. The image reconstruction computer can be a laptop or
embedded high-end microprocessor system which has the
ability of USB 2.0 connection and image reconstruction
B. Design of Sensor Array
The sensor structure is shown in Fig.3. The sensor array
consists of three concentric pipe assemblies. From outside to
inside there are an electromagnetically shielded pipe, an
excitation pipe and a flow pipe [7]. The electromagnetic
shielded pipe is made up of a plastic pipe covered with flexible
high permeability polymer. The shielded layer can improve the
systems electromagnetic compatibility and reduce the
disturbance from the environment. The excitation pipe is made
up of plastic pipe covered with 16 flexible circuit strips on the
outer surface. On the outside surface of the flow pipe there are
16 coil detectors installed. The connection cables of coil
detectors and excitation strips are installed in the cable box and
then connected to electronics case.

Figure 3. Sensor structure of the prototype EMT system

On the excitation layer the 16 flexible circuit strips are

connected into 8 excitation coils. By controlling the current
distribution on the excitation coils a parallel excitation field can
be generated and rotated. The simulation of flux line
distribution in the cross section of the pipe is shown in Fig. 4.
The sensor can generate 8 excitation projections, the first 3
projections flux line distributions are as Fig. 4.
Flow pipe wall

Direction 1

Excitation layer wall

Direction 2

Direction 3

Figure 4. Flux line distribution in cross section of the pipe

Figure 2. Photo of the prototype EMT system

The excitation signals amplitude along the excitation wall

is following the sine wave distribution. As the simulation result

shown in Fig. 4 the distribution of the excitation flux line is

even and parallel in the center area of flow pipe in this kind of
excitation method.

G (e) =

p ,d
p =1 d =1

S p , d ( e)

p ,d


( e)

p =1 d =1



For calculating the sensors sensitivity, the Ansys

Parametric Design Language (APDL) was used to design an
automatic geometry construction and filed simulation program.
The program set 828 test poles in the pipe to calculate the 16
measurement data in 8 projections by turn automatically. So a
sensitivity matrix of 828*16*8 data was generated. This
sensitivity matrix was used in the sensitivity based linear back
projection algorithm to reconstruct the images. The sensitivity
of No.1 detector in the first projection is shown in Fig. 5.

S p,d (e) =
p ,d =

V p ,d ,e (e) V p ,d ,emp


V p ,d ,emp
V p , d (e) V p ,d ,emp


V p , d ,emp

Where e is the serial number of element meshed in cross

section of the flow pipe. G(e) is the gray scale value of element
e. There are totally 828 elements in the cross section of the
flow pipe. p is the serial number of excitation projection. P is
the total excitation projections, which is 8. d is the serial
number of detectors, D is the total detectors, which is 16.
Sp,d(e) is the sensitivity value of detector d in projection p
related element e . p,d is the normalized measurement value of
detector d in projection p when there are real objects in the
flow pipe..
Vp,d,e(e) is measurement value of detector d in projection p
when element e filled with the test material only. This value is
acquired by simulation. It is the data from sensitivity matrix.
Vp,d,emp is the measurement value of detector d in projection
p when the flow pipe is empty.

Figure 5. Sensisivity distribution of No.1 detector in projection 1



Sensitivity based linear back projection Image

reconstruction algorithm is used in the prototype EMT system.
The reconstruction program was developed by using Visual
C++ 6.0. The tasks of the program include initialization of
LPC2148 microcontroller, sending excitation commands,
receiving measurement data and reconstructing images
according to measurement data and sensitivity matrix. The
programs interface is shown as Fig. 6.

Vp,d(e) is the measurement value of detector d in projection

p when there are real objects in the flow pipe.

The experimental reconstruction images are shown in Table

I. Copper poles which radius is 5 mm are used as test samples
to verify the performance of the systems image reconstruction.
The reconstruction result indicates that the test samples
position can be recognized roughly. The resolution of the
reconstruct image is not accurate. Nevertheless it still shows
the potential application in some process which needs only
approximately imaging.
To improve the resolution of reconstruction image in this
system the image reconstruction algorithm improvement is the
most important way. Linear back projection algorithm is the
earliest and basic linear algorithm of process tomography
system. In the future the regularization algorithm and iterative
algorithm, even nonlinear algorithm of EMT will be developed
and tested in this system [8].

Figure 6. Image reconstruction software interface

The image reconstruction algorithm is as (2).


Position Mark
(Test pole: Cu R=5 mm)

Reconstruction Result


Position Mark
(Test pole: Cu R=5 mm)

Reconstruction Result


computer can be merged into one small case to suit the space
limited installation environment. And if process information
extraction is realized in the frontend chassis, the data which is
needed to be transmitted will be less enough to use wireless
communicate to acquire by an upper level computer.






A prototype EMT system is designed with an integrated

impedance analyzer and a high speed ARM7 microcontroller.
This solution made the size of the EMT system reduced
without sacrificing the system performance. Also because the
link between image reconstruction computer and EMT
electronics chassis is only a USB2.0 cable the image
reconstruction computer can be designed by using a high
performance embedded system with the ability of image
reconstruction algorithm calculation. And also a laptop can be
used as a test image reconstruction computer. We can
anticipate that a more powerful embedded system can be added
in the frontend chassis to undertaken the image reconstruction
algorithm calculation and process information extraction. In
this way the system electronics and the image reconstruction




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