Pepperl+Fuchs engineers have redeveloped optical distance measurement sensors with Pulse Ranging Technology (PRT). For the first time, PRT can be used in industrial sensors of small sizes for a wide range of commercial applications. Unlike indirect processes such as phase correlation and analog chip-based processes, the time of flight is measured directly. The first distance measurement sensors with pulse ranging technology available to the market boast outstanding performance data that clearly demonstrate the superior nature of the process.
In the direct Pulse Ranging Technology process, a laser diode transmits short pulses of light, which are reflected on the target object and then recaptured by a light-sensitive receiver element. This process exceeds all previous methods – in particular, frequently used phase correlation and analog chip-based processes. These methods only deliver satisfactory results with a maximum phase shift of 360°, and show a high dependency on ambient conditions such as extraneous light, changing measuring objectives and interaction with other industrial sensor systems.
The superiority of Pulse Ranging Technology is due to the transmission of faint light pulses containing energy up to a thousand times more intense than sensors emitting permanent light beams. The process always achieves accurate, reliable, unambiguous, and reproducible results regardless of ambient conditions such as surface quality, color or prevalent extraneous light.