Frustrated by the limitations of ultrasonic technology for measuring levels of animal feed in agricultural silos, an integrator approached Terabee to investigate whether our Time of Flight (ToF) sensors would provide greater accuracy and more consistent data. A number of challenges needed to be overcome, and one very specific requirement— it required our sensors to support the Pulse Width communication protocol used by their existing ultrasonic sensors.
Overcoming the limitations of ultrasonic sensors
The ultrasonic sensors used for level monitoring in silos were causing a number of challenges. Their maximum measurement range often meant the sensors couldn’t reach the bottom of the silos. There were also issues around the acoustic signal reverberating off the metal sides of the silos which could result in inaccurate measurements. And finally, the sensor’s blind spot provided confusing data discrepancies.
Terabee’s client was keen to overcome these challenges in order to provide a more reliable solution for automating the overall material stock replenishment experience. Using LED Time of Flight technology, TeraRanger Evo, Terabee’s high-performance, low cost, lightweight (12 g) sensing platform can accurately detect materials stored in small or tall silos (up to 60 m).
Following extensive lab testing to confirm that the sensors would not be impacted by the dust and dirt within the environment they were to operate in, the integrator tested Terabee sensors in real-life conditions, installed on top of silos. This validated that the Evo sensors were not impeded by dust or dirt.
A custom engineered solution
To allow easy replacement of their existing ultrasound sensors in the field, without the need for the integrators to modify their currently deployed systems, Terabee worked closely with the client to develop a custom communication interface, based on Pulse Width technology. This was also possible thanks to the modular design of the Evo sensing platform that separates the optical unit (black part) from the communication board (yellow part). This allows users to easily test different interfaces and to engage in new interface development to support specific client needs.
Test our technology
If you need Pulse Width interfaces or would like to test our technology, then get in touch today. We’d love to hear from you.