One of the most reliable, effective and cost-efficient external detection options is the photoelectric beam. The technology is well proven and has an impressive track record. Manufacturers have developed a number of innovative technologies which enhance catch performance, reduce nuisance activations and make life simpler for integrators and installers.
As user demand for the earliest possible warning of intrusions grows, the role of photoelectric beams has become more prominent. While the professional products available deliver solutions for every type of application, there are circumstances where photoelectric beams are found wanting.
Photoelectric beam sensors typically include a transmitter and receiver. As a result, both elements must be powered. In many applications this isn’t an issue, but in some the receiver might be in a remote location, away from easy access to power. Whilst there are some very good battery-powered beam sensors, at times limited budgets may force integrators and installers to seek other less costly options.
Reflector-based beams have been around for some time, but are not used as often as transmitter/receiver pairs. There is a slight issue with these sensors, in that if the beam is broken by an object with a highly reflective surface, there is a chance the unit will receive the reflected infrared light and assume the beam has not been broken.
Reflector-based devices do have positives: they are quick to install, cost-effective and can eliminate the need for civil works. However, the risk of missed activations is too problematic for many applications. The launch of the PR-30BE from TAKEX changes things, in that it is a reflector-based photoelectric beam which uses Time-of-Flight technology.
Time-of-Flight technology accurately measures the time it takes for a signal (in this case an infrared beam) to return to the unit once it has been transmitted. The device ‘learns’ the time taken for the beam to be reflected and returned to the receiving element of the detector under normal conditions. If the signal is not returned, or if it is returned in a different timescale, then an alarm is generated.
Time-of-Flight technology is already used in the sensing sector, usually with laser-based devices. These typically cost a significant amount more than photoelectric beams, but the fact the sensing technology is used for high risk applications proves its suitability for security applications. With typical reflector-based sensing, a white van (for example) passing through a beam might reflect enough light back for the sensor to not detect a beam break. However, with Time-of-Flight technology, the shortened time window in which the light is reflected will indicate an alarm condition has occurred.
The PR-30BE has a 30 metre range. It determines the distance of any beam break with a high degree of accuracy as it measures the light reception level and timing, ensuring that genuine alarms are not missed. This eliminates problems with unintended reflections caused by gloss or white surfaces, while ensuring integrators and installers still enjoy the benefits of a reflector-based sensor.
Because the sensor does not require power at both ends of the link, installation costs are kept low. If links need to cross waterways, roads or runways, this can be achieved with greater cost-efficiency. The sensor retains the look and size of a typical twin beam device, and incorporates a number of the innovative features from the PB-IN and PXB flagship quad series.
Environmental monitoring dynamically optimises performance to match changing conditions, with a dedicated output enabling a pre-alarm warning if required. Other features include response time adjustment, horizontal and vertical adjustment, and a redesigned reflector assembly allowing a minimum operational distance of 0.5 metres.
For simplicity of installation, the PR-30BE makes use of an audible alignment tone function together with a dual-ring viewfinder and monitor output voltage options.
Reflector-based photoelectric sensors offer a number of benefits to integrators and installers. With the use of Time-of-Flight technology, the PR-30BE from TAKEX also delivers increased levels of security to ensure there is no compromise in terms of catch performance.
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