In the harsh environment of the world’s oceans instrumentation must be robust and able to operate unattended for long periods of time. Ultrasonic sensors developed and deployed to characterize physical properties of radioactive waste slurries provide a unique robust method for non-invasively characterizing multiphase pipe flows, such as crude oil extracted in the ocean environment and transported via pipeline to tankers or to shore. Transducers mounted in spool pieces, or for large tanks and vessels mounted on the wall or suspended in the fluid, can be used to measure fluid or slurry density, solids concentration, rheology, viscosity, detect changes in particle size and detect interfaces, such as those between air and oil and oil and water.

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