3000 Meters of Measurement Range
Acuity’s distance measurement laser is a long range, non-contact measurement sensor built for industrial applications. The AR3000 uses time-of-flight measurement principles to measure distances to targets from 0.5 m (1.6 feet) to 300 m (~980 feet). It can work with any opaque target and is specifically built to measure distances for surfaces of low reflectance (e. g. asphalt, grass, oxidized steel and aluminum). The accuracy of the sensor measurement is typically +/-20 mm, but this will depend on the reflectivity of the target surface, ambient light, and temperature conditions. Dark-colored targets may decrease the laser’s range and accuracy. The maximum measurement frequency of the AR3000 is 2kHz in optimal conditions.
For very distant measurements, reflective target material (3M Scotchlite 3000X) can be used to increase the maximum measurement range to 3000 meters (1.9 mi.).
Class 1, eye-safe
The AR3000 laser measurement sensor is an eye-safe (Class I) infrared laser device with an on-board visible aiming pilot laser (Class 2) option that can be manually turned on and off through the serial interface. The laser beam spot size is 5 mm with a divergence of 0.6mrad. Large targets may be necessary at very long distances.
Versatile, Long Range Applications
The eye-safe laser and robust enclosures design (NEMA-4, IP67) make it a versatile choice for industrial measuring applications. Typical applications for the AR3000 distance laser measurement sensor include bridge crane monitoring, trolley positioning, ship docking positioning applications, position surveillance of vehicles and ships, process surveillance in steel and roller plants, laser altimeter applications and altitude measurements, amongst others. In special modes, the AR3000 can also report instantaneous velocity or continuous velocity measurements for additional measurement applications.
The AR3000 has an operating temperature of -40 to 60 °C [-40 to 140 °F] and has a built-in heater that will automatically turn on/off when limits are exceeded. Configurations can be manually specifically configured to meet customer/application requirements to calibrate the sensor for distance measurement.
Outputs and Inputs
You can choose a standard RS232 or optional RS422 serial interface for communication with a computer or PLC. The AR3000 also comes with a standard, 4-20 mA current loop output. The analog output can be programmed to have a custom measurement span, and the minimum and maximum currents can be set to any points in the laser’s range.
The AR3000 has a single limit switch for indicating alarms. This can be useful for triggering an external device when a target reaches a set position. Data formats are available both ASCII and Binary with selectable termination characters. This sensor can also output the sensor’s internal temperature and return signal amplitudes in its data stream. Amplitude can also be qualitatively judged using the indicator LED’s on the rear panel of the sensor.
The AR3000 has several measurement modes that are optimized for speed, accuracy, long distances or short measurement windows. Consult the User’s Manual for a description of these modes.
AR3000 Case Studies
AR3000 Laser Sensor Used in the Testing of the Morpheus Lander at NASA
NASA-JSC used an AR3000 laser sensor as a laser altimeter to measure the altitude of the Morpheus Lander in flight. The laser has been one of the more reliable sensors on the lander.
Laser Altimeter for UAV
Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle projects depend on sensors to provide spatial information for route planning and crash avoidance. A developer of an unmanned airplane arrived at a dual-sensor system utilizing a customized AR3000 setup.
Laser Altimeter Used in NASA Project M
Project M was a proposed project to land an operational humanoid robot on the moon in 1000 days (M is the Roman numeral for 1000). As with most autonomous vehicle projects, the design of the NASA RR-1 Lander required many sensors to fully control its flight. Design engineers contacted Acuity for a solution to measure the altitude of their RR-1 Lander.
Measuring Distance to Helicopter Landing Pads
When pilots are preparing to land a helicopter, they rely on the accurate and high performance of distance sensors. These distance measurement sensors will help pilots gauge the distance to a landing pad for a safe and timely landing.
Time-of-Flight Laser Sensor Overview – the AR3000
The AR3000 has a very compact design and is what we call a time-of-flight sensor. Like most distance measurement sensors, it measures distance by rapidly modulating and collimating a laser beam.
Zip Line Photographs with Laser Technology
Companies that offer zip line tours can benefit from the installation of a high speed camera system to capture their ride. A high-speed, long-distance rangefinder is a great choice for zip line photographs.