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.

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.

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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.

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
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Storage tanks for alcohol/Filling machine for chocolate

No interfering signals due to cramped operating space

In the chocolate filling process, precise levels in the portioning containers are especially important. In order to detect the level of the viscous mass even in confined spaces, manufacturers need small radar sensors with a tightly focused measuring field.

  • High plant availability through maintenance-free measurement
  • Non-sensitive to condensate and buildup
  • Simple installation and setup
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Reliable measurement over the entire measuring range

In the production of many alcoholic beverages, an exact, unvarying alcohol content is important. But alcohol is also needed in different concentrations, especially for mixed drinks and liqueurs. For exact determination of the quantities present, a reliable level measuring system is required that is influenced neither by the liquid density nor by the gas concentration in the tank.

  • Reliable measurement even during filling
  • Precise measuring results, independent of process conditions
  • Maintenance-free operation thanks to non-contact measuring principle
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Simple Bulk Solids Monitoring

Building materials

Non-sensitive to dust and buildup

VEGAPULS radar sensors offer precise, non-contact measurement of bulk solids, even under difficult conditions such as in building materials silos. The measuring instruments are mechanically extremely robust.Neither dust nor noise nor buildup on the antennas affect the measuring result. Radar sensors ensure that enough material is available at all times.

  • Reliable measurement despite dust generation and buildup
  • Accurate measurement even with deposits on the container walls
  • Quick reaction when the level changes rapidly
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Mixing Tower

Reliable measurement through 80 GHz technology

Building materials such as concrete or mortar are required in a wide variety of compositions. The various basic materials are stored in a segmented mixing tower and mixed with cement, lime and other materials in a specific recipe. Level
measurement in the individual segments guarantees a high availability of raw materials and efficient operation of the plant.

  • Simple mounting of the sensor
  • Reliable measurement despite dust, noise and massive internal struts
  • High plant availability, because the sensors are wear and maintenance free
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Lime Silo

Unaffected by dust and buildup

In the wastewater industry, lime is used to stabilize the pH value. Stored in large silos, it is added to wastewater as a solid or as an aqueous suspension. Radar sensors deliver reliable readings without effect from ambient conditions such
as dust generation. Their narrow signal focusing also allows them to measure reliably even when buildup collects on the vessel walls or on the sensor itself.

  • Reliable measurement even during filling
  • Measurement of the entire container volume
  • Independent of angle of repose of the material surface
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