Powder and Bulk Engineering
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Publication Date: 03/1992
Pages: 4
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Using microwave sensors to solve common process control problems

Sensing devices that use microwaves -- electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light -- can be used to detect material level, monitor material flow, and provide other process controls. Because microwaves have inherent sensing characteristics, such as being noncontacting, noninvasive, and environmentally insensitive, they're suitable for sensors in bulk solids handling applications. This article discusses some microwave basics, how a microwave sensor operates, and microwave sensor types. The last section examines some common application problems and how a microwave sensor can solve them.

Microwaves are used everywhere today -- in microwave ovens, store door openers, plant intrusion alarms, and police radars. This century-old technology is now used in industrial sensors for process control, including material level detection and material flow monitoring.

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