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'Gobius C' uses Acconeer radar sensors to achieve millimeter accuracy for the new tank level system

Gobius Sensor Technology has developed and shipped over 100 000 tank level indicators since the start in 2008. One of their key areas is deployment in tanks residing in boats. The indicators have traditionally been based on a conventional vibration technology where 3-4 sensors are mounted on the outside of a fluid container. Each sensor applies a slight mechanical vibration to the canister (think of it as a knock) to determine if the fluid level is above or below the sensor placement. This means that you can only detect whether the tank is 25%, 50% or 75% full, which has been ok for waste tanks onboard leisure boats. At the end of 2021, Gobius decided to develop a solution that could detect the tank level with millimeter accuracy called ‘Gobius C’.

A new generation of tank level monitoring

The Gobius team concluded that they wanted to use a radar based sensor, which is a proven technology within industrial applications. After exploring various options, they decided to go for the Acconeer XM122 radar module. They acquired a development kit for test and evaluation and were able to conclude that the module met their challenging requirements. From there, the development continued very efficiently from the start in late 2021 and the first customers got their units in October 2022.

Featuring the Acconeer radar technology, the new ‘Gobius C’ indicator gives a range of superior benefits compared to previous Gobius systems:

  • Measures 0-100% tank level with millimeter accuracy
  • Mount the sensor on the outside of the tank – get started in 15 minutes
  • Works with any type of fluid (petrol, diesel, fresh water, grey water and black water)
  • Wireless monitoring directly to your phone or PC through Bluetooth.

“The development work went very smoothly. We started the project back in December 2021 and shipped to our first customers in October 2022.”

Anders Meiton, founder Gobius

Configuring the Acconeer sensor optimally for the Gobius customers

In the ‘Gobius C’ solution, the Acconeer radar sensor is configured to measure tank levels up to 2 meters. Even though the radar sensor is capable of measuring longer distances than that, this is the sweet spot for the use cases where the Gobius solution is deployed since it maximizes the accuracy while staying within the power consumption specs. The primary markets for ‘Gobius C’ are the leisure boats and passenger trains sectors which don’t use tanks with larger depth.

Gobius has developed additional intelligence to its solution to make sure you get a correct value of the fluid volume in the tank. The software can compensate for the rather common scenarios where tanks are not simple straight cylinders or block shaped, but rather follows the surrounding compartment in the boat or train where it’s integrated. The algorithms also ensure that you get a relevant output value even though the tank level fluctuates due to rough sea.

About Gobius Sensor Technology 

Gobius Sensor Technology AB offers unique tank monitors. Gobius’ proprietary products are simple to install, easy to use, reliable, and contribute to a better environment.

Behind Gobius Sensor Technology AB is Anders Meiton, innovator and experienced entrepreneur with sailing and skiing as his main interests. He started the company in 2008 with the aim of providing all boaters increased comfort and greater freedom.