VEGA pioneers cost-competitive radar sensors

March 6, 2020
Vegapuls radar gauges pack the functionality of its 80 GHz technology onto a new microchip no bigger than a mobile phone SIM card.

Despite the performance advantages of radar over ultrasonic level gauges, radar’s higher cost has long stratified the non-contact application space. Radar gauges were more accurate, more resistant to interferences and immune to ambient changes in pressure and temperature, but they cost more, too—until now.

With the launch of its new Vegapuls radar gauges, VEGA Americas Inc. has packed all the functionality of its 80 GHz technology onto a new microchip no bigger than a mobile phone SIM card, according to Scott Rollman, VEGA's U.S. sales director, during a Feb. 11 press conference introducing the new instruments.

The new chip preserves the functional advantages of 80 GHz radar, while making the technology cost-competitive with ultrasonic gauges often specified for “lower demand,” non-contact applications such as in water/wastewater treatment. “With this new chip, we’ve driven down the cost of the technology,” says Rollman. “We’ve made radar available for the masses."

The new Vegapuls radar sensor is available in two versions: compact with cable connection housing and standard with a fixed IP68 cable connection. Both maintain steady, accurate measurements, unaffected by external influences like solar heating, air temperature fluctuations, weather conditions, buildup and condensation. Users can choose from 4-20 mA, HART, SDI-12 or Modbus as the direct output signal. ATEX versions are also available.

The company also introduced two new series of compact instruments for hygienic processes: Vegabar pressure sensors and Vegapoint level switches use a universal hygienic adapter system, which provides the flexibility to keep installation effort and parts inventory to a minimum. Process fittings can be selected as needed to meet application-specific requirements. 

All the new pressure sensors and point level switches come standard with a 360° switching status display, which can easily be seen from any direction. The illuminated ring can be customized with one of 256 different colors, all of which remain clearly visible, even in daylight. At a glance, users can see when the process is running, if the sensor is switching, or if the sensor requires maintenance.

Standard IO-Link protocol is built into every pressure sensor and point level switch, ensuring universal, simple communication. This gives these instruments a standardized communication platform, enabling seamless data transfer and simple system integration. 

All of these new instruments can be operated via Bluetooth using a smartphone or tablet. This wireless connectivity makes setup, display, and diagnostics easier in hard-to-reach areas, harsh environments, or clean rooms with physical access limitations.