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Acuity AR3000 Distance Measurement…

Acuity AR3000 Distance Measurement Sensor

The AR3000 distance measurement sensor is ideal for extremely long-distance applications for monitoring the position of targets and objects. The unique sensor uses pulsed time of flight measurement prnciples to achieve measuring speeds to 2 KHz. The AccuRange 3000 sensor is an eye-safe (Class I) infrared laser device with an on-board visible aiming pilot laser (Class 2 )that can be manually turned on and off. This sensor can measure 300 meters to regular surfaces. Longer ranges to 3000 meters are possible with the use of reflective target boards (3M Scotchlite 3000X).

Description

The AR3000 distance measurement sensor is ideal for extremely long-distance applications for monitoring the position of targets and objects. The unique sensor uses pulsed time of flight measurement prnciples to achieve measuring speeds to 2 KHz. The AccuRange 3000 sensor is an eye-safe (Class I) infrared laser device with an on-board visible aiming pilot laser (Class 2 )that can be manually turned on and off. This sensor can measure 300 meters to regular surfaces. Longer ranges to 3000 meters are possible with the use of reflective target boards (3M Scotchlite 3000X). In special modes, the AccuRange 3000 reports instantaneous velocity or continuous velocity measurements.

Typical applications for the AR3000 distance measurement sensor include bridge crane monitoring, trolly positioning and altitude measurements amongst others.

The sensor is designed for industrial environments with NEMA-4, IP67 enclosure ratings, permitting the sensor to be directly rinsed with water! Typical data outputs are serial RS232, RS422 (optional) and current loop 4-20 mA signals.

This sensor is highly versalite, able to measure distances both indoors and outdoors, but may have limitations to extremely dark targets or measuring through steam, fog and smoke where the signal is obstructed.

 Theory of Operations:

Acuity’s AccuRange 3000 distance measurement sensors employ pulsed time-of-flight measurement principles to measure very long distances at short measurement intervals. The solid-state laser diodes can be pulsed at nanosecond pulse rates and typical accuracies are within a few centimeters

The AR1000 measures from 0. to 300 m (~10 0 feet) without the use of reflective targets. It can measure to any opaque surface. The accuracy of the measurement is typically +/-20 mm, but it will depend on the reflectivity of the target surface, lighting conditions and temperature conditions and the number of distance samples that are averaged before transmitted to the user . Dark-colored targets may be less accurate targets than light-colored targets. In special sampling modes, the AR3000 can measure the velicity of moving targets.

For very distant measurements, one can use reflective target material (3M Scotchlite 3000X) to measure between 30 and 150 meters (500 feet). The AR1000 has a Class 2 visible laser diode for simple aiming and setup. The laser beam spot size is 5 mm with a divergence of 0.6 milliradians. Therefore, large targets may be necessary at very long distances.

The primary measuring laser is infrared (invisible to the human eye). The AR3000 has a pilot aiming laser that can be toggled through the serial interface. This visible, Class 2 laser beam makes it simple to adjust the alignment to distant targets.

This measurement sensor comes standard with a RS232 serial interface for communication with a PC computer or PLC. Also standard is a 4-20 mA current loop output and a single Limit switch for indicating alarms. The linearity of the analog output is commenserate with the serial output. Limit aloarms can be useful for triggering an external device when a target reaches a set position. The AR3000 can automatically sample distances or receive an external trigger for a single distance measurement. As an option, the AR3000 can be ordered with RS422 (replaces RS232) output interface. Data formats are both ASCII and Binary with selectable termination characters. This sensor, much like the AccuRange 4000 series, will also output the sensor’s internal temperature and return signal amplitudes in its data stream. Amplitude can also be qualitatively judged using the indicator LED’s on the rear panel of the sensor.

The sensor is ordered with an optional 2 meter (6 ft.) cable with Binder series 723 flange connector and soldertail wire termination. Users design their own connectors suitable for their application requirements.

The AR3000 has several measurement modes that are optimized for speed, accuracy, long distances or short measurement windows. Consult the User’s Manual for a description of these modes.

Product Applications:

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Aerial and UAV’s

As aerial vehicles become autonomous, sensors are needed to verify altitude above landing strips. Also, low-flying aircraft may use laser rangefinders to profile the grounds below.

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Crane Positioning

Many industries use large overhead cranes to move heavy products. These cranes can be automated using long distance laser rangefinders.

Height Measurement

This broad category encompasses a variety of non-contact application where laser sensors are used to measure the height of targets that pass beneath a stationary sensor.

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Thickness Measurement

Thickness is the simplest dimension measured with non-contact sensors. If a material rests against a reference surface like a conveyor or table, one sensor is used to measure material thickness. Otherwise, dual opposing sensors measure materials that pass between.

 

The distance measuring sensors from Acuity are designed for very-long distance sensing. The devices are designed for dusty and wet industrial environments, either indoors or outdoors. The device’s compact design allow it to be placed in very tight spaces.

Some dusty applicaitons may require the use of a dust tube around the optical areas of the sensor. The sensor’s onbord heater prevents the front optics from fogging and icing. This Acuity product has been adopted in many applications and markets including the metals industries, seaports and military applicaitons.

 

Hoist Application for Acuity Laser Rangefinder:

Monitoring the position of trollies and hoists on bridge cranes in busy seaports requires accurate distance measurements afforded by the AR1000 laser distance sensor.

 

 

Helicopter Altitude Measurement with AR3000 Laser Sensor:

Helicopter altitude measurement is an application that demands high performance for non-contact distance sensors. The AR3000 is well-suited as a laser altimeter, aiding pilots in gauging the distance to the landing pad. The AR3000 can measure 300 meters to natural surfaces and is perfectly capable of functioning outdoors. The high sampling rate means near-real-time updates to the pilot.

This sensor has also been adopted by developers of UAV’s (Un-manned Autonomous Vehicles) for automatically measuring the distance to the ground.

Customers who use the AR3000 for this purpose and similar altitude measurements include NASA and other developers of unmanned aerial vehicle technology for research, defense and homeland security organizations.

 

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