A new era in radar measurement technology began a few years ago when VEGAPULS sensors based on an operating frequency of 80 GHz were introduced. The 80 GHz technology allows a much more precise focusing of the transmission signal. This makes it easier to separate actual level signals from interfering signals – this means the measurement becomes easier to make and much more reliable. That’s why VEGA radar sensors with 80 GHz are steadily taking over new applications all over the world.

VEGA has now added a new compact instrument series to this portfolio of radar sensors. These devices are also ideal for more economical applications such as those found in the water and wastewater industry or for auxiliary measuring points in process automation. Level measurement with ultrasonic sensors, which are still in use today, is thus rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The future is radar!

 

About VEGA

VEGA is a world-leading manufacturer of process instrumentation. Their product portfolio includes sensors for measurement of level and pressure as well as point level detection, with additional devices and software for integrating sensors into process control systems. Founded in the Black Forest in 1959, VEGA today employs over 1,800 people worldwide, more than 750 of them at the headquarters in Schiltach in the Black Forest. Each and every one of them works with great passion to find the best solution for the customer’s application – across all industries. 

A new heart for radar sensors

Today, radar sensors can be found in all areas of daily life, from simple motion detectors for door openers to complex distance sensors in vehicles. The technical requirements for industrial level measurement, however, are completely different. While people and vehicles refl ect radar signals very well, process media are often difficult to detect. For this task, sensors require a much higher signal sensitivity. That’s why VEGA have developed their own radar microchip, a component specifically optimized for the requirements of level measurement. This microchip is at the heart of the new sensors. Thanks to its small size, low energy consumption and optimized frequency ranges, very compact radar instruments can now be built. These are considerably less expensive and can replace ultrasonic measurement technology in virtually all applications.

Vega

Made for everyday use

80 GHz radar sensors feature excellent signal focusing capability. Unaffected by temperature fluctuations and virtually all other operational conditions, they impress users with their reliable measured values.

The new compact instrument series is designed for standard measuring tasks and thus ideally compliments the existing range of VEGAPULS 60 series plics® radar sensors.

Made for everyday use

The advantages of the radar technology

Radar sensors measure much more reliably than ultrasonic sensors. During the development of the new compact instrument series, the focus was also on simple installation and operation. All application parameters can now be set very quickly. Via the VEGA Tools app, also wirelessly with a smartphone or tablet.

Process and environmental influences

Due to their physical measuring principle, ultrasonic sensors are easily affected by ambient conditions: the transit time of sound, for example, is affected by variation of temperature (e.g. solar radiation), changing vapours or gasses affect the accuracy. Strong wind or rain, or even fog, can also damp the emitted sound waves and further restrict the measurement performance. Radar sensor performance is not affected by temperature, pressure or vacuum and remains able to deliver correct, reliable readings under all environmental conditions

Radar sensor performance is not affected by temperature, pressure or vacuum and remains able to deliver correct, reliable readings under all environmental conditions.

Dead zone and submersion

Due to process conditions, sensors are regularly flooded in some applications. To counteract this, ultrasonic sensors are often equipped with anti-submersion shields. However, these shields can also easily collect dirt and flotsam, which ultimately degrades their measurement reliability. Radar sensors have no dead zone (blanking distance) so they don’t need this protection, they function reliably, even when flooded. 

Radar sensors enable reliable measurement right up to the sensor antenna itself, even when flooded.

Dirt and condensate

In many applications, sensors struggle with buildup. This applies especially to ultrasonic sensors: build up affects the reliability of the measurement signal and increases the dead zone. Optimized signal processing enables radar sensors to suppress interference caused by buildup on the antenna system.

Radar sensors are immune to the effects of dirt and buildup and do not have to be cleaned.

Reliability and accuracy

Thanks to the strong focusing of 80 GHz technology, the radar beam can be aimed at the measured medium with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, even narrow shafts or deposits on vessel walls or internals such as pipes
or pumps cannot generate interfering signals. In contrast to ultrasonic, no false signal suppression is necessary.

Radar sensors are highly suited for use in confined spaces and vessels with internal installations.

Efficient Water Treatment

Pumpstation

No interfering signals due to cramped operating space

Pumping stations are used to compensate for unfavourable sewer gradients. Level measurement in the pump shaft enables cost-effective control of the pumps. Radar sensors deliver exact readings even with dirt, foam or condensate in the shaft, even spider webs don’t bother the radar sensor. Thanks to its narrow focusing, the new radar sensor performs extremely well in confined spaces resulting from small shaft dimensions, buildup on the walls or protruding fixtures.

  • Exact measuring results unaffected by shaft internals
  • Long service life through use of highly resistant materials
  • Controller with intelligent pump management for optimal operation and energy usage

Rake control

Mechanical pre-cleaning removes floating matter with rakes or sieves. Measurement of the water level difference between the front and the back of the screen is used to determine the degree of contamination and control the cleaning of the screen. Radar sensors provide reliable measurement data even when exposed to the elements, e.g. intense solar radiation. Even small wastewater treatment facilities are no problem for the radar sensor, as there is no dead zone restricting its measuring range.

  • High system availability through maintenance-free measurement
  • Non-sensitive to condensate and buildup
  • Controller for level and difference measurement

Stormwater overflow chambers

Reliable measurement over the entire measuring range

Stormwater overflow chambers protect sewage treatment plants from capacity overload during periods of heavy rain. If the rainwater overflow basin is unable to hold the accumulating water, part of it is discharged into a river. Due to legal
regulations, the impoundment and discharge events must be measured and recorded. Thanks to the high accuracy of the radar sensors, the impounded and discharged water quantities can be measured with just one sensor.

  • Exact measurement of the discharged water quantity
  • Low sensor height allows a larger impoundment volume
  • Safe operation/adjustment with smartphone – climbing into sewer unnecessary

Open channels

Unaffected by environmental conditions

Wastewater is often transported to the sewage treatment plant in open channels. The flow rate is measured on flumes and weirs around the plant. The water quantities measured at the inlet and outlet of the sewage treatment plant is used for calculating wastewater charges and consents. The high accuracy of radar sensors, completely unaffected by solar radiation and temperature fluctuations, enables accurate measurement.

  • High system availability through maintenance-free measurement
  • Flow-proportional output signal by means of integrated flow curves
  • Quick setup and commissioning of the controller via application wizards

Sand filter

Unaffected by environmental conditions

Suspended particles are filtered out in the filter, which is filled with sand and gravel. The water is passed through the filter bed, thereby binding the dirt particles to the sand surface and retaining them. As soon as the filter is heavily soiled, automatic cleaning is triggered; the level in the basin is monitored during the resulting backflushing process, which ensures optimal cleaning.

  • Reliable level measurement even with strongly agitated product surface
  • Simple installation and maintenance-free operation
  • Quick and easy setup and commissioning with smartphone or tablet

Drinking water reservoir

Reliable measurement over the entire measuring range

Whereas drinking water is produced in relatively constant quantities, consumption often fluctuates greatly. Drinking water reservoirs are therefore not just storage facilities, but important buffering basins. High availability of the measurement
technology is therefore extremely important in maintaining a reliable supply of drinking water. Continuous level measurement with radar ensures that the water reservoir is always adequately filled.

  • High supply reliability through dependable measurement
  • Simple mounting
  • Maintenance-free operation thanks to non-contact measurement

Safe Food Production

Small silos for baking ingredients

Non-sensitive to dust and buildup

One important prerequisite for the smooth operation of many manufacturing processes in the food industry is foresightful stockpiling of ingredients. Smaller silos in particular, e.g. for storing flour, sugar, salt and other ingredients, benefit from
the high reliability of radar sensors. The instruments monitor the silo content reliably and ensure a trouble-free production process.

  • The non-contact measuring principle is unaffected by dust generation and changing media
  • High plant availability, because the sensors are wear and maintenance free
  • Simple installation and setup