Ultrasonic sensors can be used for many applications, including precise detection of objects and contactless monitoring of fill levels.
Ultrasonic sensors work in much the same way as radar and sonar. Ultrasonic transceivers (consisting of a set of an ultrasonic transmitter and receiver) convert energy into ultrasound. They generate high frequency sound waves and evaluate the echo which is received back by the sensor. The time interval between sending the signal and receiving the echo (time-of-flight, TOF) is calculated in order to determine the distance to an object.
The characteristics of the ultrasound signal are interesting for use in indoor positioning systems (IPS). Ultrasonic technology has several advantages, including high signal stability, high frequency, high sensitivity and high penetrating power. The sensors are easy to use and safe during operation for nearby objects, persons, or material.
Ultrasound signal emitters are directional, which means that distance computations based on time-of-flight are only valid when sensor and object are facing each other. In no-line-of-sight conditions, the accuracy level of ultrasonic indoor positioning solutions degrades due to reflections (echo-effect).
Ultrasonic technology can be used in a wide variety of applications:
Ultrasonic sensors can measure the amount of material (liquids/solids) in a tank and trigger a notification when the maximum fill level is reached. Software solution used: Indoor Tracking, Geo-Based ProcessesSensors used: Ultrasound, Bluetooth Low Energy (beacons)Example of use: Positioning of Waste Containers
Especially in industrial environments, severe accidents may occur due to collisions. In combination with a beacon-enabled tracking solution, ultrasonic sensors safeguard the operation of equipment and vehicles (e.g. aerial work platforms). Software solution used: Indoor Tracking, Geo-Based ProcessesSensors used: Ultrasound, Bluetooth Low Energy (beacons)
Ultrasonic sensors are suitable for controlling processes in parking lots and garages. In conjunction with a smart parking solution, for example, they can detect the occupancy of a slot or prevent a barrier from closing when a vehicle is underneath. Software solution used: Indoor Tracking, Geo-Based ProcessesSensors used: Ultrasound, Bluetooth Low Energy (beacons)Example of use: Intelligent Car Parking Management
Ultrasonic sensors solve the problem of sensing human presence. They offer the ability to reliably detect people over a wide range of distances. At an airport, a Wi-Fi tracking system combined with passenger counting zones based on ultrasonic distance measurement monitors passenger flows and dwell time patterns. Software solution used: Indoor Tracking, Geo-Based ProcessesSensors used: Ultrasound, Wi-FiExample of use: Passenger Flow and Wait Time Monitoring at an Airport