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Gill R&D Custom Fuel Level Tank Sensor

May 14, 2014

gill-rd-application-story-uav-factory-sensor.jpgUAV Factory, a Latvian based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) manufacturer had a requirement to accurately measure fuel level and usage on-board Penguin B, a small class UAV used as a training platform to Universities, Armed Forces and research establishments.
Fuel monitoring is critical for safe 'return to base' functionality and to provide live telemetry to the command & control base-station.

The Challenge

The positioning of the fuel tank in the Penguin B aircraft presented a tough design challenge as only the rear of the tank was accessible; therefore a customised sensor design was required to fit the irregular shaped fuel tank. Additionally the proposed fuel level sensor must be easily changed-out or retro fitted without major strip down of the aircraft.

The Results

Using provided 3-D CAD model data of the tank, Gill's team of design engineers developed a new 'side-entry' sensor mount which was tested and evaluated to ensure application compatibility. To ensure the sensor could be fitted into the rear of the fuel tank, a special 'dog-leg' design was developed.

21 sensors were delivered to the UAV factory for use with the Penguin B UAV aircrafts and the sensors were used to provide valuable measurement data within the company's world endurance flight.

Project results and benefits

  • Successful delivery of an engineered solution to effectively monitor fuel level
  • Development of customised side entry fuel level sensor mount, fit for application and to customer specifications
  • Provided cost-effective and rapid sensor design using 3D CAD space and model data
  • Delivered fully tested and evaluated sensor design within 10 weeks of receiving customer's initial enquiry
  • Sensors used to within UAV factors recording breaking endurance flight of 54.5 hours

Phases of working with the customer

  • Gill engineers work with UAV Factory engineers to agree design specifications, including environmental operating conditions, fuel types, fuel volumes and damping requirements
  • Gill produces a detailed specification, design concept and quotation to UAV Factory for evaluation
  • Gill receives an order for 2 prototype units
  • Gill proceeds into detailed design
  • Export Control UK are contacted and Export requirements for the Fuel level sensors are requested. Based on the findings an Export License Application is completed
  • CAD Models and 2-D templates are despatched via email to UAV Factory, who assess form and fit in the fuel tank using 3-D CAD and also evaluate insertion viability of the sensor on to an aircraft (during insertion the sensor must pivot 65° before reaching home on a mounting plate)
  • Gill receives the go-ahead and proceed to component manufacture
  • Gill assembles the probes, pots and tests the prototype units and calibrates to the customer's fuel type and levels.



 

 
 

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