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Guided Wave Radar Level Measurement

Guided wave level transmitters are common in liquid and solid applications.

Whether a GWR transmitter is measuring liquids or solids, a concentrated radar pulse travels from the sensor, down the waveguide, contacts the product and returns to the sensor.

How does level measurement with guided wave radar (GWR) sensors work?

Guided wave radar technology is similar to through-air radar in terms of setup and operation. GWR devices are typically installed at the top of a tank with a probe (often called a waveguide) extending inside the tank and contacting the product inside. The sensor sends a concentrated radar pulse down the probe and that pulse hits the product and reflects back up the probe to the sensor. Electronics integrated into the sensor then use the pulse’s travel time to calculate distance. That distance correlates to a level measurement. 

A guided wave sensor is one example of a time-domain reflectometer (TDR). A TDR sensor measures reflections along a conductor—in this case, the probe conducting the radar pulse.

What are the advantages of guided wave radar?

Guided wave radar technology is ideal for a variety of applications because it is impervious to shifts in pressure, temperature, or product-specific gravity. Setup is simple and safe, making commissioning and retrofitting virtually effortless. In addition to level measurements, GWR level transmitters 

One major benefit of guided wave radar instruments is excellent performance in applications where foam is present. The highly-concentrated radar pulse gives a very precise continuous reading through foam, where other level measurement technologies perform inconsistently or fail altogether in such difficult applications. Guided wave radar sensors are also the best means of level measurement in a stilling tube or bridle.

What are common applications for GWR level transmitters?

Guided wave radar is extremely versatile and can be found in almost every industrial sector. Whether in bitumen or liquefied gas, in storage containers or standpipes, in a metering tank or in tank farms, guided wave radar measures the level or interface (separation layers) of liquids with great reliability and accuracy. The focused microwave energy TDR sensors emit allows for accurate measurement of unreflective liquids and liquid applications containing heavy foam.

GWR level sensors are used in bulk solids applications for measurement of everything from cement to grain. That’s because guided wave technology is impervious to the dust rampant during filling cycles and is unaffected by wild temperature changes.

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