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CIR Sensor for Industrial Automation

Compact Industrial Radar (CIR) Sensors for Industrial Automation

CIR mounted onto industrial equipmentNavtech Radar’s industrial grade CIR sensor is a compact, light-weight, fully ruggedized sensor that has been specifically developed for industrial automation applications in harsh environments. Capable of providing high-resolution imaging in all weather, lighting and environmental conditions, the versatile industrial automation sensor overcomes the issues presented by laser and camera solutions.

The 360° scanning sensor can be used for a wide variety of industrial automation applications, from measurement and ranging, to anti-collision and obstacle detection. Remote, teleoperated or fully automated operation 24 hours a day becomes possible, as the element of human error or poor weather conditions are removed as risks. Having been engineered to withstand extreme vibration, temperatures and environments, the CIR is the most reliable sensor for use in mission-critical industrial automation applications where adverse conditions are present.

Radar is unaffected by external conditions such as heavy rainfall, fog, thick dust storms or complete absence of light, making it the only solution available for applications where visibility is compromised. The sensor’s ability to comprehensively scan 360° enables total coverage of complex environments, detecting small items such as wires that might otherwise be missed by laser technology.

The sensor can be easily integrated into any software package, requiring only a power and ethernet connection to transfer raw data that can be interpreted to suit the user’s needs. The option of on-board processing allows for minimal infrastructure and bandwidth requirements.


Industrial Automation CIR sensorThe CIR sensor is a fully ruggedized compact scanning radar that has been specifically designed for use in high-intensity industrial environments. Its robust design is vibration, heat and impact resistant, whilst its 360° scanning ability provides high-resolution imagery and requires fewer sensors to cover any given area than traditional flat-panel radars. The sensor can be mounted at any angle for optimum performance.
The sensor’s newly developed onboard processing allows for minimised bandwidth and infrastructure requirements by analysing all data within the sensor and emitting only the required raw data.

The radar can provide accurate measurements and ranging data, as well as the ability to detect obstacles and prevent collisions.

With a 5 year service guarantee, cleaning and maintenance are unnecessary in most environments. Servicing is straightforward and can be carried out in situ by users.

In applications where a rugged, all weather, all environment sensor is required that delivers a high resolution image of the surrounding environment, radar is the ideal solution. Whilst optical and sonar sensors are unable to reliably perform in adverse weather, the nature of radar enables operation despite the presence of rain, fog, dust, snow or other adverse climate conditions. This makes the sensor an ideal choice for a range of applications, including but not limited to the following:

Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

Automated straddle carriers at port botanyAutomating a vehicle’s travel around a site, whether a port or a mine, is no longer a distant dream of the future. For over a decade Navtech’s radar sensors have been used to automate straddle carriers at ports , allowing vehicles to operate entirely unmanned. Just one sensor is required per vehicle, and by using strategically placed radar targets across the site, the system is able to calculate each vehicle’s precise location. Precise routes can be planned, avoiding collisions and preventing incursions into unauthorised areas, whilst data such as speed and location of the vehicle is continuously sent to the operating system.

Radar is ideal for such applications as these environments are vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. Ports often experience fog and heavy rain, whilst mine sites tend to be very dusty. Radar is unaffected by these factors, and the sensor does not need to be regularly cleaned or maintained in order to perform well, unlike optical or laser based sensors. Navtech Radar’s CIR sensors have been developed to withstand the vibrations associated with being mounted on a vehicle, as well as resisting corrosion from any dust or salt water present.

Click here to see how Navtech’s Industrial Automation sensors enabled the full automation of Port Botany.

Anti-Collision for Cranes

Radar sensor attached to a crane in a port

Whilst cranes are in operation, it is not just the jib and boom that need to be carefully monitored. As a crane rotates and moves along gantries, the backreach and counter weights are susceptible to causing damage to objects behind the crane, such as whip antenna and satellite dishes on ships. The CIR sensor is able to prevent this damage by providing anti-collision protection – detecting the crane’s proximity to other objects and allowing the operator to adjust accordingly. Systems can even be programmed to force-stop a crane’s movement if a collision is imminent, avoiding costly downtime caused by such an incident.

There are two key benefits in using radar for this application. The first is the precision allowed by the comprehensive 360° sensor, and the subsequent ability to detect very narrow objects such as whip antenna or cables. Whilst radar scanners emit and receive a continuous signal, laser sensors use very narrow pulses of light that are at risk of missing narrow objects if not hit at precisely the right point. The second is that the radar’s all weather capability overcomes the issues presented by optical sensors in the presence of water or dust particles in the air, and can continue to fully function in all environmental conditions.

Automated ship loading

Accurate and even ship loading through use of radar sensorLoading and unloading cargo and bulk materials onto ships requires knowledge of not only of the ship’s horizontal position, but also of its height in the water. Despite a ship being securely anchored, the very nature of a ship’s placement on water means that shifting tides and changing masses on the barge means that the height of the ship relative to the stationary equipment on the deck is a variable measurement.

In order to precisely load materials in the most efficient and even way, these measurements must be known. By automating this process, the risks associated with manual error or poor visibility are eradicated, allowing for safer, more stable ship loading. Radar sensors are typically chosen for this application due to consistent performance in all weathers, particularly heavy fog that is often present in docks and ports.

To read about how Navtech’s Industrial Automation sensors enabled fully automated conveyer belt loading of Iron Ore into ships, click here.

Stockpile Management

precise stock pile management with radar sensor monitoringIn order to reach full efficiency, a reclaimer must recover as much bulk material from a stockpile in each bucket-wheel as possible. By not fully optimising the average bulk density being reclaimed each hour, thousands of dollars are lost due to inefficient time and resource use. This problem can be dealt with by measuring the profile of the stock pile prior to each pass of an excavation bucket and immediately after the material has been collected. In doing this, the precise volume that has been reclaimed can be recalculated, and the reclaimers position can be adjusted accordingly in order to optimise the capacity for the next excavation. These small adjustments can quickly lead to an increase in performance, saving a significant amount of cost associated with the operation of rotating machines.

The mining environment is a harsh one, with extreme vibrations and significant amounts of dust and debris that need to be considered when selecting a suitable sensor. Navtech’s CIR sensor has not only been fully ruggedised in order to withstand vibrations and impacts synonymous with this environment is entirely unaffected by dust. Neither dust in the air nor a build up on the sensor itself will impact performance, meaning low maintenance, reliable stockpile monitoring for the entire lifetime of the mining automation sensor.

Anti-collision for trains

Radar attached to the front of a coal transportation trainWith the trend towards the autonomous operation of trains continuing to grow, reliable obstacle detection in front of trains is increasingly important. As a train progresses along a track, the operator or operating system needs to be aware of any obstacles on the track, particularly pedestrians. Railroad fatalities are unfortunately a common reality, as are collisions with slow moving or stationary vehicles already on the track, and a sensor that can detect a person or object on the track to at least 200m is required in order to prevent a collision.

The sensor must be capable of identifying objects in complex and cluttered environments, able to differentiate between objects that should be present, such as the track, sleepers and signs, and those that shouldn’t. Navtech’s CIR sensor provides a high resolution image, regardless of dust or poor weather, that allows clutter to be removed and the accurate detection of objects in complex environments.

In addition, the sensor must withstand the extreme vibrations associated with being attached to a train whilst maintaining accurate performance. Having been designed with a vibration resistance compliance of IEC EN6100, the radar is fully ruggedised and capable of dealing with the most extreme of environments.

Safety and Automation for Bridges
Radar can be used to scan over water in all weathersThere are number of areas in which automated sensors can improve the efficiency and safety of bridge operation, both on and off the bridge. For instance in the operation of bascule bridges, a boat needs to be detected as it approaches the bridge, and vehicles and/or pedestrians on the bridge need to be cleared before the bridge can be raised. At a fixed bridge, any vessel attempting to pass underneath needs to below a certain a height – a height that can vary day to day, season to season, depending on water levels.

This radar sensor provides capabilities for all of these applications. By providing long range detection in all weather conditions, early warning alarms can be issued and appropriate responses take. Capable of providing a high resolution image both over ground and water simultaneously, one sensor can be used to monitor both movement on the bridge and up to 350m over water, reducing the installation and maintenance costs associated with alternative technologies.

Industrial radar on stacker reclaimer cropped

  • 24/7 operation in all weather, lighting and environmental conditions
  • Zero maintenance or cleaning with a 5 year service interval
  • High-resolution imaging
  • 360° scanning capability
  • Proven to withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, impact, dust, debris and water
  • Web-based user interface allows for remote monitoring
  • Option of on-board processing reduces infrastructure and bandwidth requirements
  • Compact design allows for easy shipping, handling and installation
  • Sensor mounts directly to mounting plate for simple installation and servicing
  • Option of on-board processing allows low bandwidth and infrastructure requirements
CapabilitiesCIR sensor
Maximum range200m radius (400m total)
Field of view360°
Range Resolution17.5 to 25cm
Beamwidth – Azimuth1.8°
Beamwidth – Elevation1.8° with the option of a 25° cosec fill-in
Scan rotation rate1-4Hz
Interface1Gbps Ethernet
Supply Voltage24Volts DC
Power Consumption30 Watts
Environmental IP67, EN60068-2-52:1996 Test Kb Severity 3
Operating temperature-20° to +60°C
Vibration resistanceIEC EN6100
Impact resistanceIEC 60950.1
Compliance CE Marked
EN 301 091-2V1.3.2
EN301 489-3V1.4.1
EN301 489-3V1.9.2
IEC 60950-1
IEC 60950-22

Standard CIR sensor
RAD1011 - Francolin Dish Radar Dims (aligned)

Low Profile CIR sensor – this option is available where space is limited and a smaller sensor is required

RAD1010 - Francolin Lens Radar Dims (aligned)