AR550 High Speed Laser Sensor

The AR550 high speed laser sensor is Acuity’s fastest triangulation device for dimensional and distance measurement. At sampling rates up to 70kHz, these sensors are typically used for applications that demand high speed such as vibration measurements, scanning of roads, vehicle crash test, and ballistic measurements.

Product ID: 9418 Category:

Industry Leading Speed – Up To 70kHz

The AR550 high speed laser sensor comes in one compact package size with 9 different measurement ranges: 2mm, 5mm, 10mm, 25mm, 50mm, 100mm, 250mm, 500mm, and 750mm. The high-speed laser has a linearity of ± 0.15% and boasts a resolution down to within 0.01% throughout the measurement range.  All AR550 sensors come standard with Ethernet output and 0-10V, with a selection of either RS232 or RS485 as a serial communication option. The sampling rate of the AR550 can be specified and the high speed sensor can transmit sampling rates up to 70kHz via Ethernet output.  The unique specifications of the AR550 high speed laser sensor offer a unique and impressive laser built for applications needing very high sampling rates with precise measurements.

Versatile Options – Laser Diode Options, Accessories

The AR550 is available with several power options for both red (660 nm) and blue (405, 450 nm) lasers. Depending on the range, you can select between Class 3R (< 5 mW), and Class 3B (up to ~100 mW) lasers in both colors. The higher powers are useful in applications where the target is especially dark and far away, and they can help reduce noise in applications where a lower-class laser just isn’t bright enough.

The AR550 high speed sensor has a normal recommended operating temperature range of -10 to 60°C (14 to 140°C), so it can work in most environments without modification.

But if your application doesn’t take place in “most environments,” the AR550 has you covered with these factory-installed options:

  • An internal heater that allows operation in temperatures as low as -30°C (-22°F).
  • An air jacket that allows operation in ambient temperatures as high as 120°C (248°F)
  • A splash shield that helps keep water from landing on the laser window and interfering with the beam or opt

Built For Versatile High Speed Applications

Unlike other high-speed sensors, the AR550 electronics are integrated directly inside the compact sensor. The sensor’s unique dimensions and high-speed capability allow the laser sensor to be installed in various environments demanding high-speed. These include applications such as:

  • Scanning of roads – road surfacing, road profiling, road texturing, etc.
  • Vibration measurement – speaker displacement, engine displacement, structural displacement testing
  • Capturing fast events – crash test sensors, environmental/infrastructure testing
  • High speed measurements needed on hot targets

Outputs and inputs

All AR550 High Speed Sensors come standard with Ethernet output and 0-10V as the analog option. The selection is either a standard RS232 communication or an optional RS485 serial communication option. The Ethernet interface is used only for the transmission of data from the sensor. The sensor parameters can only be adjusted or set using a serial communication.

The AR550 has a limit output for indicting alarms. This can be useful for triggering an external device when a target reaches a set position. The AR550 also has a line to receive an external trigger to take single distance measurements.




Base Distance: Offset distance from the face of the sensor to the beginning of the measurement edge. Accuracy is greatest at the middle of the range, and the laser spot size is the smallest at the middle of the measurement range.

Range: Working distance between measurement endpoints over which the sensor will reliably measure displacement.

Resolution: Smallest change in distance that a sensor can detect. Stated as % of the full scale range

Linearity: The largest deviation from a best-fit straight line over the measurement range, created by data from the sensor with reference taken from a true distance scale. Stated as ±% of the Range.

Sample Rate: Speed that data samples are obtained from the sensor.

Options and Accessories

Connection Options

Serial communication

An RS-232 0utput is standard on the AR550. Cables purchased with the laser come with flying leads that can be wired directly to whatever connector your computer or PLC uses. The data from the AR500 can be set to binary or ASCII output. The maximum transfer rate is 921600 baud.

The AR550 can be purchased with an RS-485 serial output. RS485 is normally used for longer distances of communications and faster data rates. Multiple devices can share one line because RS485 is multi-drop. The RS-485 serial output replaces the RS-232 output, so please double check the output your application requires before ordering.  If you do not have a computer or controller or PLC that supports RS485 communications, it may be necessary to use a commercial RS485 to RS232 converter.

Analog Communication

The maximum and minimum current outputs can be set to any point on the sensor’s range, even inverting direction if necessary. We do recommend using the shortest length of cable feasible to reduce any noise causing interference.

Ethernet Interface

Ethernet output is standard on AR550 models. Ethernet interface is used only for the transmission of data from the sensor. Parameterization of sensors is carried out via RS232 or RS485 interface. The factory parameters, including destination IP address, Gateway IP address, subnet mark, etc. are detailed in the manual.

Environmental Endurance Options

Internal Heater

The AR550 can be ordered with a factory installed, internal heater. This heater allows the sensor to be operated in temperatures down to -30°C (-22°F). This allows the AR500 to be installed in cold environments without a custom-built enclosure. Users can configure the temperature settings to suit their application.

Air Jacket

The AR550 can also be ordered with a factory installed, air jacket. With appropriate forced air applied, the air jacket allows the AR500 to operate in ambient temperatures as high as 120°C (248°F). This allows the AR550 to be installed in hot environments without a custom-built enclosure.

Splash Guard

The AR550 is available with a factory installed splash guard. This doesn’t improve the laser’s resistance to water (the AR550 is rated as IP67 and can withstand splashes), but it does help keep the laser window free of water, dirt, oil, and other debris and reduces the need to clean the window to ensure accurate operation. 

Connection Accessories

Connectivity Kit

connectivity box for the ar1000The AR550 laser measurement sensor comes with an unterminated bundle of wires in a shielded cable. As an option, Acuity sells a connectivity kit to aid in connecting your laser to a power supply and serial port. This product includes a 120V, 15 VDC, AC power supply; a serial 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), a DB9 male serial connector out, and a barrel style power connector in. You can either pass through the wiring to another unterminated cable, connect a DB9 serial cable directly to the interface box, or both at the same time.

Also available: Serial to USB cable option; 240 V version with a European-style plug.






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