The petrochemical industry started using the first radar sensors for level measurement in the early 70s. However, the technical effort was immense, and the costs too great to use them in process automation. Thanks to the continuous development of aerospace technology and telecommunications in the 80s and 90s, microwave technology became cheaper, and gradually established itself in industrial level measurement. And so it came about that, in 1991, VEGA introduced the first production-ready level transmitter based on radar.
The most successful level radar in the world
eric® – that was the name of the first two-wire radar sensor in the world, which VEGA brought to the market in 1997. Equipped with digital signal processing, the radar sensor was mainly characterised by its very low energy requirements.
Various industries started using eric® sensors in many applications where the use of radar had been too difficult technically or too expensive up to that point. Within a very short time, eric® propelled VEGA to the top of the world radar market.
But even eric® had some limitations: the area of application for radar level measurement was still restricted mainly to the measurement of liquids. That changed in 2004, when VEGA succeeded in increasing the sensitivity of radar sensors by a thousandfold.
The signal processing of the instruments was also adapted to the typical environments inside bulk solids containers. This made VEGAPULS 68 well prepared for the extremely difficult process conditions in the bulk solids industry.
Into the future with 80 GHz
VEGAPULS 69, a radar sensor specifically designed for continuous measurement of bulk solids, was successfully introduced in 2014. Measuring with a high frequency of 80GHz, the instrument enables significantly better signal focusing. And in containers and silos with many internal installations, good focusing is key in reducing interference signals.
With the introduction of VEGAPULS 64, the world’s first 80GHz radar level sensor for liquids, VEGA has added another chapter to its ongoing success story in radar measurement.
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