Measuring Fluid Level Using Microwave Radar
Checking the fluid level in big ship tanks can be an extremely difficult task. Tecdia developed the perfect solution using microwave technology and engineering know-how.
The use of radar sensors to identify distant objects and measure their movements even when obscured by darkness and other conditions is widely known. Microwave engineers are finding new applications in sensors using high frequency radio waves, including measuring the volume of material in very large storage containers or locations that otherwise may be difficult, dangerous, or expensive to measure. This tutorial covers one such sensor developed by Tecdia to monitor the fluid level in oil tanks.
Conventional methods of measuring petroleum levels were limited by the type of petroleum they could measure. We needed a solution that was compatible with all petroleum types.
Petroleum comes in a variety of conditions and product types: from thin, clear liquids, like gasoline, to black, viscous, and heavy liquids like crude oil. A widely used method of monitoring fluid levels by using a float that goes to the surface of the fluid, indicating the level by its position, has been around for a long time. With this mechanical contact method, there are problems with highly viscous oils becoming stuck to moving parts and causing failures. Our client was looking for a solution that could easily be applied and adjusted.
Tecdia has developed an affordable unit by putting our microwave technologies to work.
Since microwaves travel in straight lines, fluid levels can be measured accurately by receiving radio waves that have been reflected back off the fluid surface. Then the device converts the time difference from emission to reception into a frequency. The frequency could then be used to indicate the level of the fluid in the tank. We developed a compact radar module that used a broadband VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) compatible with 10GHz microwave band frequency with good linearity. We then took the system from design to production using our in-house manufacturing and test capability.
Fluid Level Radar Unit
Service systems and reliability to go along with superior technologies. Our integrated manufacturing system also lowered the cost, which made our client happy.
Installing the system is easy. All it takes is mounting the device that will send and receive the signal and an antenna on the inside top of the tank facing the liquid’s surface. Interfacing with exterior equipment is also easy, since communication takes place through electronic signals.
Our client is convinced that Tecdia has established a great new method for monitoring fluid levels of all types of oils and chemicals that also proved the benefits of being reliable and maintenance-free.
The new, easy to install, accurate and affordable monitoring system is very popular with our client.
Measuring system design and manufacturing