Friday, July 19, 2024

Essential Things You Need To Know About How Ultrasonic Sensors Function


Over the years, industries have been using ultrasonic sensing to detect high-reliability levels and sense proximity. These sensors can work in various environments and applications. They’re also durable and quite strong. This article tells you some vital things you need to know about these sensors. Read on for more information.

What’s An Ultrasonic Sensor

It’s equipment that measures an object’s distance through sound waves. It uses a transducer to receive and send ultrasonic waves to show how close an object is.

Types Of Ultrasonic Sensors

There are two main categories of ultrasonic sensors, namely:

  • Proximity Detection

It alerts a user when there’s an object around the area of detection. It detects objects of various sizes, reflectivity, and materials.

  • Ranging Measurement

It uses intermittent sound waves to provide accurate measurements of an object’s distance.

Ultrasonic Sensor Applications

You can use these sensors in many industries and applications. Food and beverage companies use it to determine the liquid level in bottles, while car manufacturing companies use it to maximize efficiency and control processes on the factory’s floor.

Other areas where this sensor can be used include loop control, robotic sensing, box sorting, full detection, people detection, tank level detection, detecting breaks in wires or threads, and people detection.

How Ultrasonic Sensors Function

These sensors send out sound wave frequencies that are higher than the human hearing range. Their transducers function as microphones that send and receive ultrasonic sound. Most ultrasonic sensors use single transducers to send pulses and receive echoes.

The sensor calculates the distance of a target by measuring the lapses between the sending and receiving pulses. For example, a sensor may send a pulse at 40kHz through the air. If it meets an object, it’ll hit it and return to the sensor. When you calculate the sound’s speed and the travel time taken by the pulse, you can determine the distance.

You can use these sensors to detect clear objects like liquid measurements, and in applications using infrared sensors. The pulses also allow the sensors to detect objects regardless of the material, surface, or color. However, the material should not be soft like wool because it won’t absorb sound. These sensors are a reliable option for detecting transparent items that other optical technologies can’t see.

When To Use An Ultrasonic Sensor

You can use these sensors in an environment that has adequate lighting. These may be indoors or outdoors. Ultrasonic sensors are created with features that enable them to avoid a collision. You can also move them quite fast, and best use them in a non-contact detection of distance, position, presence, and level. They’re independent of color, light, dust, and smoke.

Unlike infrared sensors, ultrasonic sensors aren’t affected by soft black materials or smoke. However, soft materials may interfere with its waves and result in problems. Despite that, you can still rely upon it. Ultrasonic sensors can be categorized as close range, safe (appropriate for harsh environments), highly accurate, and self-contained.


If you own a company that requires object detection and distance measuring, you can rely on these sensors. They’re more superior and use advanced techniques to detect sound waves and objects than other infrared sensors.

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