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Senix Corporation Offers Adaptable, Rugged And Reliable Ultrasonic Distance Measurement Sensors

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Senix Corporation is a small high-tech company in the picturesque Vermont town of Hinesburg, nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. As a living example of Yankee ingenuity, since 1990 Senix has been designing and manufacturing ultrasonic distance measurement sensors. Since then they’ve sold more than 92,000 of their sensors for use all over the world in a variety of applications. Below is our interview with Dimitri Chernyshov, Manager, Marketing and Sales at Senix Corporation:

Q: Could you explain the function and advantages of your ToughSonic ultrasonic sensors?

A: Ultrasonic sensors are essentially small sound generators that create extremely short “pings” of sound at a frequency higher than humans can hear. They then measure the time it takes for the echo of the silent ping to return, bouncing off whatever is in front of the sensor, whether it’s a liquid or a solid, a vehicle, a plant, a person, whatever. By measuring the “time of flight” of the silent ping, the distance from the sensor to the object is determined. Objects can be as close as a couple inches or as far as a hundred feet away. ToughSonic sensors measure distances in darkness or light, on moving or motionless objects regardless of color or texture, in heat or cold, humidity or drought, rain, snow, dust or dirt – they just keep working – accurately measuring in the toughest conditions. Most customers report back that the ruggedness and reliability are what they most appreciate about our ToughSonic sensors.

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Q: You’ve recently announced that Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration is implementing a network of forty water-level stations; could you tell us something more?

A: The Vietnamese system is primarily for automating the monitoring of tidal changes and sea-level rise. Many coastal cities, now recognizing that seas are rising and even sunny day flooding is changing from an occasional nuisance to a frequent disturbance, are exploring similar systems, some that could provide data for redirecting traffic around flooded areas to better cope with rising waters.

More and more cities, states, and countries are recognizing that flood detection systems are well worth the investment. Being able to detect impending flood conditions far enough upriver or far enough out at sea in time to warn people in populated areas before the water arrives, saves lives. As evidenced by the recent flooding tragedy in Sierra Leone that killed close to a thousand people, or the 2004 tsunami near Thailand that killed hundreds of thousands around the Indian ocean, or even the 2011 flooding in our home state of Vermont that killed three, floods can be deadly and very expensive to recover from. This system in Vietnam follows the lead of the Iowa Flood Center with their system of more than 200 sensors on streams and rivers all over the state, and the tsunami warning system in the Philippines, both installed a few years ago. Similar systems are in planning stages worldwide.

Q: Who is your ideal customer and why?

A: It’s hard to define an ideal customer because our customers use our sensors for so many different applications. While our largest volume of purchases are for water-level sensing, people are using our ToughSonic sensors in applications as varied as measuring the height of children in a museum; controlling mirror focus in flight simulators; maintaining the fly-height of the America’s Cup and other hydrofoil boats over the waves; ensuring smooth manufacturing of metals and plastics in all sorts of factories; measuring crop heights for precision agriculture; monitoring irrigation system water levels to open or close water gates; detecting trees in orchards to conserve agricultural spray chemicals; and gauging liquid levels in water, chemical, and diesel tanks for inventory or level control. As an engineering-driven company, we pride ourselves on including plenty of user-selectable features that enable our customers to understand and adapt our sensors quickly via software.

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Q: What are your plans for the next three months?

A: We’re currently adding enhancements to our standard products to make them even more universal, and designing new connectivity products in response to customer inquiries, mostly about water-level monitoring. The future of Senix ToughSonic sensors is connectivity. Wireless technology and the “Internet of Things” is changing how people think about and use data. In the past, ultrasonic distance measurement was mostly a tool for industrial processes. In the future, ToughSonic sensors will be a tool nearly everyone can benefit from when sensor data is made available on people’s desktops and smartphones.

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