Microwave radar level technology has been available to industry since World War II, but only recently has it found its way into the wider commercial mainstream. Through extensive use of radar technology by government and large industrial users, and advance in modern electronic components, microwave instruments are now affordable for use in smaller, more general applications. There are a number of distinct advantages this technology has over conventional, mechanical level devices including longer mean time between failure (MTBF), fewer effects from changing process or ullage (the are above the process liquid) conditions, less instrument maintenance, isolation of the instrumentation from the process liquid, and instantaneous monitoring of conditions inside a process or storage vessel. Factors that affect accurate level measurement using radar are the dielectric of the process material, location and alignment of the radar sensor, obstructions in the vessel, surface conditions of the process liquid, and calibration of the system’s electronics. Microwave radar level technology also offers the potential for the ability to anticipate and diagnose problem areas remotely.
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