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AR1000 Laser Distance Sensor

The Acuity laser distance sensor model AR1000 can measure 30 meters with an accuracy of 3 mm. Using a reflective target board, the sensor will measure distances up to 150 meters. Ideal for measuring fill levels and material height monitoring, the AR1000 sensor can hold up to very tough environments.


The AR1000 laser distance sensor is ideal for crane and hoist applications, position measurement, or for monitoring fill levels of bulk material. The unique sensor uses phase shift comparison measurement principles (of light) to accurately measure distances of 30 meters. Longer ranges to 150 meters are possible with the use of reflective target boards (3M Scotchlite 3279).

Typical speeds for the AR1000 laser distance sensor are 6 Hz, but 50 Hz sampling can be realized with white targets at close ranges with small target movements.

The sensor is designed for industrial environments with NEMA-4, IP65 enclosure ratings, permitting the sensor to be directly rinsed with water! Typical data outputs are serial RS232, RS422 (optional) and current loop 4-20 mA signals.

This sensor is highly versalite, able to measure distances both indoors and outdoors, but may have limitations to extremely dark targets or measuring through steam, fog and smoke where the signal is obstructed. However, the AR1000 measure to hot, glowing steel near 1000°C

A special AR1000H version is available with an internal heater, making the sensor suitable for operation to -40°C (-40°F). Users can configure the cycling of the heater through the serial interface.


Acuity's AccuRange 1000 laser distance sensor is a very unique distance measuring device. It employs a phase-shfit comparison measurement principle that leads to very accurate distance calculations. The LIDAR technology uses high frequency amplitude modulation with continuous wave laserdiodes. The AR1000 measures the phase shift of up to five frequencies of emitted light to accurately gage the distance to a target.

The AR1000 measures from 0.1 to 30 m (~100 feet) without the use of reflective targets. It can measure to any opaque surface, even radiating steel. The accuracy of the measurement is typically +/-2.5 mm, but it will depend on the reflectivity of the target surface, lighting conditions and temperature conditions. Dark-colored targets may be less accurate targets than light-colored targets because less light is returned to the detector. In simple sampling modes, the AR1000 self-determines the optimal sampling speed. Typical sampling output rates are 6 Hz. 50 Hz sampling is possible at close ranges to white targets. See the technical document download area for more information.

For very distant measurements, one can use reflective target material (3M Scotchlite 3279) to measure between 30 and 150 meters (500 feet). The AR1000 has a Class 2 visible laser diode for simple aiming and setup. The laser beam spot size is 5 mm with a divergence of 0.6 milliradians. Therefore, large targets may be necessary at very long distances.

This measurement sensor comes standard with a RS232 serial interface for communication with a PC computer or PLC. Also standard is a 4-20 mA current loop output and a single Limit switch for indicating alarms. The linearity of the analog output is +/- 0.15% of the span. This can be useful for triggering an external device when a target reaches a set position. The AR1000 can automatically sample distances or receive an external trigger for a single distance measurement. As an option, the AR1000 can be ordered with RS422 (replaces RS232).

A special AR1000H version of this device can be used from -40°C to 50°C thanks to an internal heater that automatically cylces on and off based on the user's configured settings.

The sensor is also standard with a 2 meter (6 ft.) cable with Binder series 723 flange connector and soldertail wire termination. Users design their own connectors suitable for their application requirements.

The AR1000 has several measurement modes that are optimized for speed, accuracy, long distances or short distances. Consult the User's Manual for a description of these modes.


Acuity offers the following standard and optional outputs for the AR1000 laser rangefinder devices:

Standard RS-232 Serial Output

All sensors come with an RS-232 serial output on the 2m (6 foot), 9 pin cable that connects to PC style serial ports after the user attaches a DB9 connector. Serial output is ASCII and may be configured as either decimal or hexadecimal. The maximum baud rate is 38400 baud.

Standard RS-422 Serial Output

For long distance communications (more than 20 to 30 feet, depending on the baud rate), the RS-232 serial output may be replaced with an RS-422 serial output. The available sample rates, formats and software configuration commands are all the same as for the RS-232. Acuity recommends an RS422 to RS232 converter to monitor the interface from a PC computer serial port.

Standard Current Loop Output

A 4-20 milliamp current output is a standard output for the AR1000 laser distance sensor. The zero and span for the current loop output may be set at any location.. The span point (20 mA) may be made closer than the zero point if desired. The 4-20 mA output has a maximum voltage capability of 10 volts, and it is suggested that a 400 to 500 ohm load be used at the reading instrumentation for best accuracy.



The AR1000 laser distance sensor is standard with RS232 and analog outputs. Optional hardware is listed below. Acuity has relationships with vendors of specialized enclosures. Contact us if you have any questions.


The Acuity AR1000H laser distance sensor includes an internally-installed heater. This heater allows the sensor to be operated in even colder environments, down to -40°C (-40°F). Now, the devices can be installed on outdoor platforms and in winter weather without a custom-built enclosure (Acuity recommends that laser sensors be shielded from direct exposoure the the elements). Users can configure the ON and OFF temperature settings for the automatic cycling of the AR1000H. Contact Acuity with more questions or a quotation.

Touch Panel Display

The Acuity™ Touch Panel Display is a stand-alone terminal interface for use with Acuity laser distance sensors. These fully-enclosed units replace panel meters, alphnumeric displays and analog controllers by providing a modern interface through a full-color LCD and touch screen. The Touch Panel Display communicates with one or two Acuity sensors using their serial interfaces. Sensors can be easily configured using on-screen buttons to display and scale their distance outputs. Relative dimensions can be measured using a tare function. With dual RS232 serial inputs from two Acuity sensors, the touch panel serves as a thickness gauge and display, an application which previously demanded a PC computer and custom software programming. Using a single RS485 serial interface, the Panel can transmit thickness and dimensional information to external devices.


The AR1000 laser measurement sensor comes with an connectivity box for the ar1000unterminated bundle of wires in a shielded cable. As an option, you can add a connectivity interface. This product inlcudes an AC wall-mount power supply, an RS232 cable with DB9 connector and a solid-state, NEMA-4X interface box. The interface box includes two sets of terminal blocks for simple input (from sensor) and output (to your selected device). The interface box has an inlet for the power supply and a serial port. The power unit is a AC power supply takes 120V, 60 Hz. and delivers 15VDC at 600 mAOffered only with a US recepticle plug. A 240 V version is available with an euro-style plug

Download the Connectivity Guide for the AR1000 - File Size 227 KB


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AR1000 demo software

This simple program is a graphical terminal emulator which allows you to easily configure the AR3000 and AR1000 sensors. This program is freeware, not developed by Acuity. We make it freely available without technical support.

The program allows for simple configuration, graphing and archiving. The user can set the font for the numbers display as well.

AR1000 demo software - zip 1.13 MB

Other Downloads

AR1000 Quick Start Guide - pdf 412.76 KB

AR1000 Connectivity Guide (- connecting sensor to a Connectivity Kit) - pdf 395.82 KB

AR1000 Connection instructions to Connectivity Kit for RS232 or RS422 ((NEW)) - pdf 235.83 KB


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