The LM80 uses a high speed laser pulse to measure distance. The laser light is emitted towards the surface and some of it reflects back to the instrument where it is detected by a sensitive optical receiver. The time it takes for the light to travel to the surface and back to the instrument is directly proportional to the distance between the instrument and the surface. Using a time-of-flight calculation, and knowing the height of the vessel, the LM80 accurately measures the distance to the target surface using the equation below:
Level = height - speed of light x time-of-flight
The unique characteristics of laser light give the LM80 significant performance advantages over other technologies. The narrow, long range beam can measure both near and far distances while the optical wavelength makes it easy to evaluate applications. If you can see the surface clearly, the LM80 can measure the level.
The characteristic narrow beam divergence of the laser permits direct aiming to the target surface without interference from structure or falling material. With both continuous 4-20 mA and single point relay outputs, the LM80 can operate as a process control sensor while simultaneously providing high and low alarms.