In industrial sensing applications at least one parameter of at least one fluid in a pipe 12 is measured using a spatial array of acoustic pressure sensors 14,16,18 placed at predetermined axial locations x1, x2, x3 along the pipe 12. The pressure sensors 14,16,18 provide acoustic pressure signals P1(t), P2(t), P3(t) on lines 20,22,24 which are provided to signal processing logic 60 which determines the speed of sound amix of the fluid (or mixture) in the pipe 12 using acoustic spatial array signal processing techniques with the direction of propagation of the acoustic signals along the longitudinal axis of the pipe 12. Numerous spatial array-processing techniques may be employed to determine the speed of sound amix. The speed of sound amix is provided to logic 48, which calculates the percent composition of the mixture, e.g., water fraction, or any other parameter of the mixture, or fluid, which is related to the sound speed amix. The logic 60 may also determine the Mach number Mx of the fluid. The acoustic pressure signals P1(t), P2(t), P3(t) measured are lower frequency (and longer wavelength) signals than those used for ultrasonic flow meters, and thus is more tolerant to inhomogeneities in the flow. No external source is required and thus may operate using passive listening. The invention will work with arbitrary sensor spacing and with as few as two sensors if certain information is known about the acoustic properties of the system. The sensor may also be combined with an instrument, an opto-electronic converter and a controller in an industrial process control system.