The Difference Between Ultrasonic and Radar Level Sensors

Both radar and ultrasonic sensors transmit wavesThere is a tendency, at least in the industrial media, to put Ultrasonic and Radar level measurement technology in the same hat. Even though many people use the terms interchangeably, the two technologies are quite different.

So, at the risk of sounding a bit nit-picky, we feel that defining the differences between ultrasonic and radar sensors is important, as it affects how sensors are selected and applied. In this blog, we will look at ultrasonic vs. radar sensors and explain the difference between the two level transmitter types.

Ultrasonic Level Sensor Used with Stilling Well in Water Level Sensing

MNU Ultrasonic Sensor mounted under a manhole cover in a sewer applicationIn some water level sensing applications whether they are tank level, river and lake height or similar, it is sometimes necessary to use an alternate mounting method especially when an unobstructed path to the target is not feasible or there is a lot of foam or turbulence which can disrupt water level readings. This is necessary, especially with ultrasonic technology.

One such choice of alternate mounting is the use of a stilling well, as seen above with an MNU Ultrasonic Level Sensor, mounted under a manhole cover in a sewer application.

Ultrasonic Level Sensor Measures the Draft of Barges

Ultrasonic level sensor used to measure the draft of bargesAPG's object detection ultrasonic levels sensors are being used to measure the draft of barges in the waterways off the Louisiana cost.

The draft of a barge is the vertical distance between the waterline and bottom of the hull/keel. The draft determines the minimum depth of the water the barge can safely travel through. The barge draft can also be used in determining the weight of cargo which is calculated by the total displacement of the water caused by the barge.

Three Reasons the MNU IS Excels in a Variety of Applications

Physical Depth Measure and Solar Panel on Green Water TankIf you were to look up “versatile” in the dictionary, you might find a picture of APG’s new MNU IS Intrinsically Safe Modbus Ultrasonic Sensor. Ok, you might not yet, but you should, and soon. With features like APG’s new QuickMode, global Class I, Division 1 hazardous location certification, and RS-485/Modbus RTU standard on every unit, the new MNU IS is capable of handling just about any level measurement situation. Let’s take a look.

18 Programmable Settings You Need In An Ultrasonic Sensor

ultrasonic level sensor programmingLike anything else, there are both cheap and good quality ultrasonic sensors out there. Besides good manufacturing, one of the major differences between a good sensor and everything else is programmability. While non-configurable sensors might seem like a bargain, the advantages of programmable sensors add up to dependable readings and better control of your operation.

Since we can’t speak for all ultrasonic sensors on the market, let’s explore some of the benefits offered through our sensor’s programmable settings. Here are the 18 settings you can adjust in an APG ultrasonic sensor for optimal performance:

APG Introduces New Series MNU IS Intrinsically Safe Modbus Ultrasonic Level Sensor

MNU IS Intrinsically Safe Modbus Ultrasonic Level Sensor

LOGAN, UT – Automation Products Group, Inc. (APG) introduces a new ultrasonic level sensor, the Series MNU Is Intrinsically Safe Modbus Ultrasonic Level Sensor.

The MNU IS combines the flexibility and programmability of Modbus sensors with the ability to be installed in Class I Division 1 Hazardous locations. As with all of APG’s Tank Cloud compatible Modbus sensors, both the application parameters (Distance, Level, or Volume settings) and sensor performance parameters (Pulses, Signal Strength, Averaging, etc.) can be configured via APG Modbus software. And with certifications from CSA, IECEx, and ATEX, the Intrinsic Safety rating of the MNU IS is valid all around the globe.

Does Your Ultrasonic Sensor Need Maintenance?

ultrasonic sensor with corrosionMaintenance is important, but it’s often hard to quantify. How much time does maintenance take? How often does your system need it? Does maintaining one part necessitate a complete system shut down? What does that represent in lost income because your system is not making product? Maintenance is important, but minimizing maintenance is even more important.

Maintenance is also important for your sensors. While everyone (yes, us, too!) would really like for sensors to maintenance free for life, reality dictates that all equipment needs a check-up from time to time. It’s true for pumps and motors, and it’s true for sensors.

So, when’s the last time you gave your ultrasonic sensor a checkup?

Ultrasonic Sensors: Range Vs Frequency

ultrasonic sensor over canalUltrasonic sensors are pretty cool. Transducers send and receive waves, measurements magically get spit out by the sensor, and nothing had to touch anything, right? You can choose sensors based on range, or type of transducer, or even safety ratings. Most sensors declare their range and frequency together, which seems kind of odd. Why is the range of an ultrasonic sensor tied to its frequency? For the answer, we turn again to our old friend, high school physics.