Delivering Reliable Level and Flow Measurements With Non-contacting Radar

January 24, 2023 by Damond Goodwin

Radar transmitters are traditionally bulky and expensive, making them difficult to integrate into certain measurement processes. Emerson has created a compact transmitter to give users the benefits of radar without the cost and complexity.

Many manufacturers use ultrasonic and hydrostatic devices to measure less critical areas of their processes because of the traditionally high cost and complication associated with radar. In water, wastewater, and the process industries, however, accurate measurement is important to keep plants within legislated operating ranges for environmental compliance.

Emerson has worked to create a cost effective radar transmitter to bring the high accuracy and superior measurement quality of radar to applications where it has traditionally been too expensive or complex to implement. 


Accurate measurement is important to keeping plants operating within legislated ranges in water, wastewater, and process industries.

Accurate measurement is important to keeping plants operating within legislated ranges. Image used courtesy of Kekyalyaynen


What Are Radar Transmitters Used For?

Radar transmitters are used in many different industries across a multitude of applications. They are especially useful for level measurement in bins and other applications where contactless measurement is a necessity. Radar based transmitters are known for being highly accurate and are especially useful in applications where precision accuracy is important to the end user.  

Radar sensors work in a similar manner to traditional radar found in ships and planes. The radar transmitter emits a microwave signal that travels until it hits something where it then reflects back to the device. The radar system then receives the signal and calculates the presence of an object. Radar transmitters used in measurement devices detect the presence of a medium and a highly accurate measurement of the location of the medium in relation to the transmitter. 


Emerson Rosemount 1208 Level and Flow Transmitter Series

The Rosemount 1208 Level and Flow Transmitter. Image used courtesy of Emerson


Emerson's Level and Flow Transmitter

The Rosemount 1208 Level and Flow Transmitter Series is Emerson’s answer to improving accuracy in measurement while keeping costs and compactness similar to those of ultrasonic or hydrostatic measurement. This means that organizations are able to accurately monitor open channel flow and level monitoring in order to better maintain compliance in their respective specialties.

In addition, efficiency is increased while operating costs are decreased as a result. Many industries can benefit from the advancement in technology and reduction in price including:

  • Food and Beverage

  • Chemical Plants

  • Process Industries

  • Water and Wastewater

With 80 GHz fast-sweep frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology, the Rosemount 1208 can deliver fast and accurate measurement. All of this is possible with a single electronic chip that helps to reduce the size and cost of the device. The transmitter has been designed with fast-sweep FMCW technology that includes advanced algorithms.

The additional technology means that the transmitter is capable of receiving up to 40 times more information than older radar systems. Without a need to calibrate, the system saves money and downtime over the term of its use and is essentially maintenance free. With space savings in mind, the Rosemount 1208 can also fit into applications where space is at a premium.


Emerson Rosemount Radar Transmitter on extendable bracket

The transmitter is available in two different configurations. Image used courtesy of Emerson


Rosemount Transmitters

The transmitter comes in two different configurations, the Rosemount 1208A and the Rosemount 1208C. The Rosemount 1208A is available with IO-link capabilities and has three wire 4-20 mA and switch outputs. With IO-link connectivity, the 1208A can be monitored and configured remotely, offering an easy integration into smart plant processes.

The Rosemount 1208C contains two-wire 4-20 mA and HART communication options. This allows users to operate with advanced diagnostics. The 1208C is supported with preventative maintenance to reduce downtime and limit costs. It is also available with hazardous approval, meaning it can be used in any environment where explosive gas is a possibility.