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level measurement devices

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Posts: 4
Jul 5th, 2009 at 8:16am  
The 3DLevelScanner represents a family of 3D non-contact level measurement devices that takes the guesswork out of measuring the level, volume and mass of solid materials inside a silo or open bin with 3D mapping of the contents.

How it Works
The 3DLevelScanner employs a 2-dimensional array beam-former to send low frequency pulses and receive echoes of the pulses from the contents of the silo, bin or other container. The device's Digital Signal Processor samples and analyzes the received signals. From the estimated times of arrival and directions of received echoes, the processor generates a 3-dimensional image of the surface that can be displayed on a remote screen.
The APM 3DLevelScanner is unaffected by the type of materials being stored, avoiding the need for special calibration, or by environmental conditions, such as dust, filling “noise”, humidity, or temperature.

The 3DLevelScanner actually takes advantage of the large 70-degree beam angle (that results from working at a very low frequency), by using a three-antenna system with proprietary algorithms to add another important dimension, direction. The result is that every 10-15 seconds the 3DLevelScanner receives a matrix of x-y-z position coordinates that represent the echoes from the surface of the contents in the silo. Connecting these points together generates a highly accurate profile of the surface area, which in turn yields more precise measurement of the amount of materials being stored.
While traditional sensors with a single transducer are capable of measuring only a single point on the contents’ surface, The 3DLevelScanner implements a circular array of three transducers for beam forming both at reception and transmission. The sensor estimates the echoes’ time delay and spatial direction by using DOA (Direction of Arrival) algorithms. By derivation from the geometrical structure of the bin (entered by the user), all echoes from the contents’ surface are considered, while those from the silo walls are discarded.

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Reply #1 - Jul 5th, 2009 at 8:23pm  
I normally delete contributions like this as spam.  In this case I am making an exception since the notion of using directed and range timed echos (acoustic or otherwise) off a surface to measure the surface profile is relevent to antenna reflector measurements and panel adjustments.

Anyone interested in developing a scanning pulsed laser that can take a depth picture of an antenna reflector ?

Having tried microwave holography and target photogrammetry and been disappointed with the time, cost and complexity, the idea of a scanning laser range finder beam appeals to me.

Best regards, Eric
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