Ignore Unwanted Targets with Ultrasonic Sensors


Editor’s note: This is the second part of our look at programming your ultrasonic sensor to ignore unwanted targets. You can find part 1, “Maximum Distance” here, and part 3, “Blanking Distance” here.

Ultrasonic beams widen as they travelNarrowing the Beam

Unwanted targets for an ultrasonic sensor are any objects that are not the intended target, such as the liquid level surface. Examples include protruding pipes, ladders, or other equipment, depending on the environment in which your ultrasonic is installed.

A good way to do this is to narrow the beam spread of the sensor’s sound waves. The typical ultrasonic sensor beam spread at maximum sensitivity is 38 inches across at 10 ft. away from the sensor’s face. To reduce this spread, you will need to lower the sensitivity in the ultrasonic level sensor settings.

This is done by with to the following steps:

Step 1: Connect the RST-3002 module to the IRU sensor and your computer. Open the IRU software.

Step 2:  After communication has been established, reduce the sensitivity setting in the parameter window by five counts.

Step 3:  Click on the “Send” tab.  This will send the new parameter to the sensor.

Step 4:  Keep repeating steps 2 and 3 until the desired reading is being displayed and is stable.

If you run into a “Loss of Echo” before you get the desired result, an unobstructed path to the target is not feasible for the distance you want to read. In this case, use a stilling well to achieve an unobstructed path.

It’s always best to speak with one of our application engineers beforehand to understand the feasibility of an unobstructed path. Let us know if you have any questions regarding liquid level sensors, ultrasonic beam patterns, or using the settings to narrow the beam.

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