Level: New radar sensor offers sophisticated signal processing

By Control Engineering Staff July 19, 2007

Radar level detectors are already some of the most versatile level sensors available, but when their capabilities are married with sophisticated data analysis, new capabilities are possible. Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. has released its Sitrans LR 250 radar level transmitter with new process intelligence advanced signal processing. The company says this device is the easiest to install and configure radar transmitter available on the market today.

The new Sitrans LR 250 radar level transmitter can be used to measure a variety of liquid and slurry level applications accurately and reliably. Designed for measurements up to 66 feet, the new transmitter is well suited for chemical, pharmaceutical and hydrocarbon processing applications in corrosive atmospheres.

Process intelligence signal processing evaluates dynamic echo signals. It applies algorithms based on field data collected from over one million level measurement applications to raw echoes in the tank to produce accurate and reliable level measurement readings. It reportedly allows the instrument to ignore obstructions automatically and provides capabilities for advanced features like diagnostic tools, quick start wizard, and false-echo suppression. Additionally, it contains a new algorithm that improves the measurement accuracy at low levels in vessels containing low dielectric media.

The compact radar horn antenna (1.5 – 4 in diameter) allows for installation in smaller openings, and the narrow, high frequency beam ensures minimal interference from vessel walls. Siemens says using a high frequency, narrow transmission pulse means the complete vessel capacity can be measured. A multilingual Quick Start Wizard enables the user to set up the transmitter using only a few parameters allowing the Sitrans LR250 unit to be operational in minutes.

The transmitter can be programmed either locally with the intrinsically-safe, infrared handheld programmer or remotely using Simatic PDM (process device manager) software. With PDM, there is no need to open the transmitter housing, which prevents exposing the unit’s electronics to aggressive atmospheres. A new graphical local user interface (LUI) displays echo profiles and diagnostic information enabling the user to determine the dynamics in the tank at a glance.

Read a tutorial on radar level sensors here.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com , Control Engineering Weekly News