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Q & A: What Advantages do Laser Tech Sensors Offer?

Question: What Advantages do Laser Tech Sensors Offer?

Answer: Low maintenance non-contact benefits, high accuracies, eliminating needs for reflectors, extended ranges, narrow beams, and flexible configuration options. 

Keep reading for more information on each of these 6 unique advantages that come with our non-contact continuous measurement laser sensors.

Laser sensors bring advantages into several different fields

1) Non-Contact/Low maintenance

By nature, non-contact measurement creates low maintenance benefits.

This advantage is a direct result of our sensors functioning as non-contact continuous measurement devices.

Contact-sensor alternatives tend to require constant exposure to various materials and often install at the bottom of large tanks. Meanwhile, non-contact sensors tend to be installed at easy-to-access areas that avoid materials exposure.

Longer device lifespans

Avoiding contact with materials means that our sensors perform longer.

  1. Less corrosion

    A Laser Tech non-contact laser sensor installed at an easy-to-reach location

  2. Less build ups/clogs
Easier to keep clean

Keeping a clean sensor is a best practice made easier by non-contact performance.

  1. Less frequent cleaning required
  2. Typically limited to removing some dust
  3. Can often be completed via compressed air cans
Easier to access

Contrary to contact sensors, our sensors are commonly located near or on a tank’s lid or hatch.

Non contact sensors can be installed in easier-to-access locations that compliment worker safety

  1. Faster access for repairs and cleaning
  2. Easy to remove and reinstall when needed
Safer to access

Thanks to the easier access that our sensors tend to create, some safety hazards can be eliminated.

  1. Avoid workers coming into contact with materials
  2. Remove risk of injury from climbing into tanks, entering production machinery, etc. 

2) High Accuracy

Integrators can expect high accuracies from all of LTI’s laser sensor options.

All of our non-contact continuous measurement laser sensors offer high accuracies. In the general scope of applications, our Universal Laser Sensor’s (ULS) accuracy reigns supreme. However, our S200 series and S300 series sensors can sometimes be the better choice, depending on the needs of your application.

Reliable accuracies are offered at varying intensities across our different types of sensors.

Reminder: S200 series is ideal for solids, S300 series is ideal for liquids, ULS performs with high accuracy regardless. 

  1. S200 Series typical Accuracy: 0.1 ft (4 cm) in short-range mode, 0.3 ft (8 cm) in medium-range mode, .5 ft (15 cm) in long-range mode
  2. S300 Series typical Accuracy: +/- 10 mm (.39 in)
  3. ULS accuracy: ± 2 cm (0.70 in)

3) No need for reflectors

Targets typically generate enough reflectiveness to function without any additional reflector installation required.

A lidar sensor’s use of infrared energy allows most targets to function as natural reflectors

The intensity, or reflectance, of a target will be determined by its color, opacity, distance from sensor, reflection angle, size, and environmental situation. There are some key features that can give you confidence in a target’s natural reflectance.

Maximized reflectance is ideal but not always necessary. A discussion with one of Laser Tech’s experts will be the best way to determine if your application’s target will effectively perform as a reflective target.

Here are a few concepts to keep in mind when determine you target’s potential for natural reflectance:

  1. Targets with high opacity reflect infrared energy best
  2. Targets with smooth surfaces are highly reflective
  3. Direct/straight angles between sensor and target reflect energy in the widest and most receivable fashion
  4. Larger targets reflect more energy than smaller targets
  5. Clear environments, with minimal dust, fog, or mist, means less precipitates to potentially interrupt energy beams

In any case, all of our sensors have multiple programmable settings that programmers can tweak to better optimize performance.

4) Long Range Ability

Laser Tech’s sensors offer considerable accuracy over long ranges

Laser Tech sensors for solids perform accurately within considerably wide ranges.

This aspect might not be too relevant for integrators involved in plant process automation. However, those interested in applications involving larger measurement/detection zones can find comfort in the long range abilities of our sensors.

Longer ranges than alternatives make LTI sensors for solids advantageous for integration into aerial vehicle systems, extensive perimeter networks, and other applications expanding over large areas.

Reflective targets offer the highest max ranges for LTI laser sensors. 

  1. S200 Series maximum range to reflective targets: 9,514 ft (2900 m) in low-accuracy mode, 4,921 ft (1500 m) in medium-accuracy mode
  2. ULS maximum range to reflective targets: 5,249 ft (1600 m)

Non-reflective targets are still effective at significant ranges.

  1. S200 Series maximum range to non-reflective targets: 5,249 ft (1600 m) in low-accuracy mode, 2,953 ft (900 m) in medium-accuracy mode
  2. ULS maximum range to non-reflective targets: 1,640 ft (500 m)

5) Lidar/Narrow Beams

The narrow beams created by lidar sensors have a few benefits to consider.

Lidar sensors can function in narrow environments that cause issues for the naturally wide beams of radar alternatives

Our time of flight laser sensors use lidar. Some alternatives use radar, which casts a relatively wide and diffused energy beam.

Integrators running into issues that eliminate wide-breamed radar sensor options from their application will want to look into lidar alternatives.

Some applications may require a more focused beam to overcome structural obstacles.

  1. Lidar beams grant an ability to shoot past/around physical obstructions
  2. Narrow beams allow for more precise target assignment
  3. Confined spaces are far more likely to avoid issues

The beam divergence tendencies of our different sensors are acute.

  1. S200 series divergence: 3 mrad (equal to 1 ft beam diameter @ 328 ft or 30 cm @ 100m)
  2. S300 series divergence: 3 mrad (equal to 15 cm beam diameter @ 50 m or .5 ft @ 164 ft), 44 mrad using Diffusing Lens (equal to 220 cm beam diameter @ 50 m or 7.33 ft @ 164 ft)
  3. ULS divergence: 3 mrad (equal to 30 cm beam diameter @ 100 m (1 ft @ 328 ft)

6) Configuration Flexibility

Our engineers design LTI sensors to offer customizable and versatile programming.

LTI Laser sensors provide flexibility in configurating for all sorts of applications.

Different targeting modes available for both single and multiple targets

Our S200 series, S300 series, and Universal Laser Sensor (ULS) have their own targeting mode options.

Laser Tech’s sensors can be configured to your application’s needs

  1. S200 series: First, strongest, last, first-second-third, last-second to last, first-strongest-last, first-second-third-strongest-last
  2. S300 series: First, strongest, last
  3. ULS: Averaging, binning, detection, last
Industry-standard data outputs

Our S200 series, S300 series, and Universal Laser Sensor (ULS) have standardized input/output specifications.

  1. S200 series input/output specifications: S-200 = TRIG, SDI-12, RS232 without alignment laser, S-210 = TRIG, SDI-12, RS232 with alignment laser, S-230 = 4-20mA, RS232 with alignment laser
  2. S300 series input/output specifications: S-300 = TRIG, SDI-12, RS232 without alignment laser, S-310 = TRIG, SDI-12, RS232 with alignment laser, S-330 = 4-20mA, RS232 with alignment laser
  3. ULS input/output specifications: RS232, RS485, 4-20

Want more info on our Industrial Sensors?

Navigate through the entire LTI Laser Sensors Q & A series:

  1. Introduction to Laser Tech’s Non-Contact Sensors
  2. Who Uses Laser Tech Sensors?
  3. What are Laser Tech’s Sensors Used For?
  4. What Environments are Ideal for Laser Tech Sensors?
  5. Laser Sensor FAQs

Have more questions?

Contact our experts today to see if a Laser Tech non-contact sensor is right for your application.

Contact Our Experts