Innovation for Agriculture

Baumer strives to be leading in sensor technology. This means our customers have access to new trends in sensing technologies. We work together with customers, universities, and partners to demonstrate capabilities of and put to use emerging technologies.

Radar Technology – Miniaturized Radar Sensors

A new class of radar sensors will become available that have the potential to complement ultrasonic sensors. These radar sensors may be used for defined targets for positioning tasks and also for distance measurement on natural targets for e.g. boom height or implement control. Radar waves are less susceptible to environmental influences, and experience little damping in air at short distances. First field tests with this new developments confirmed good canopy penetration.
Recent advances in the SiGe BiCMOS process allow for operating frequencies well beyond 100GHz in mm bands and sub THz frequency ranges. Possible applications include wireless multi Gbps data communication, automotive radar and active and passive imaging systems for e.g. aircraft navigation under clouds, fog and dust conditions. Transceivers and antennas can now be fully integrated onto a single chip in standard semiconductor processes. This, and an active and fast adaption especially in the automotive industry, will result in the availability of miniature devices in the near future that will complement existing technologies such as ultrasonic sensors.
Radar devices in small packages in the mm band have advantageous beam propagation properties. Beam forming by a dielectric lens allows for a simple field of view and gain tailoring. At a field of view of less than +/-10° a linearity error of better than +/-6mm can be achieved. These properties compare well to e.g. ultrasonic sensors. Especially in the agriculture equipment environment ultrasonic sensors are extensively used due to their robustness and resistivity to dirt.

Redefining Rugged: Data Acquisition System with Mike Ellis

Elevated shock and vibration levels, even violently spraying hydraulic fluid during testing are no match for this rugged, mobile data acquisition system.
HBM's SoMat eDAQ - rugged mobile data aquisition systemMike Ellis, a Project Engineer with Gates Corporation, United States Customer Solutions Center focusing on Advanced Product Technology, and his team were recently in the field collecting hydraulic pressure and acceleration data. Their aim was to try to replicate and capture event data, in hopes of discovering the cause of customer failures on a skid steer loader’s rock breaker attachment.
During testing, elevated shock and vibration levels shook the Data Acquisition System and skid steer, excessive dust from the rock breaker covered everything. After several hours operating in the harshest of duty cycles, the failure occurred, violently spraying hydraulic fluid around the entire machine for about 10 seconds. After it was contained, Ellis’ team inspected the damage. The Data Acquisition System was covered in hydraulic fluid from top to bottom—soaked in approximately 6.35mm of fluid. Ellis remarked, “My colleague who operated the skid steer at the time of the failure was concerned the system was destroyed, or, worse yet, the data lost. I assured him that was not an issue. We wiped down the Data Acquisition System and downloaded the data from the test run and continued to test the remainder of the day.”
Recalling this incident and the operation of the system, Ellis confidently stated: “Our Data Acquisition System system is by far the most rugged piece of testing equipment we own. If my laptop or our other test equipment had been in the skid steer, they certainly would not have survived.”
HBM's SoMat eDAQ - rugged mobile data aquisition systemThe rugged and dependable capabilities of the eData Acquisition System were observed by Ellis even before Gates Corporation purchased their existing systems. He was thoroughly impressed with the Data Acquisition System’s use at many of his customers’ locations. Ellis adds, “It is an extremely accurate system. It is so easy to use; we use it as a check on our other pieces of laboratory testing equipment—to make sure they are set up correctly. If I do have a question, I know the brand is backed by a true engineering firm. In working with their support team, I can always call and ‘talk application’ not just to see if ‘a certain transistor is bad.’ Furthermore, the updates for the software are great. They are always backward compatible and, unlike our other lab equipment, there are no hidden or upgrade fees. I know that I can depend on our investment being supported for many years to come.”