In 2014 new regulations were introduced by the FIA which restricted the total fuel usage and maximum fuel flow rate for Formula 1 and LMP1 world endurance cars. This was to drive the development of greater power output from smaller engines.
The FIA required a real-time fuel flow meter to ensure compliance with these regulations. The sensor required high accuracy and flow levels, very high update rates and the reliability to survive the extreme motorsport environment.
Working with the FIA to develop the final sensor specification, it was apparent that ultrasonic time-of-flight technology would be best suited to meeting the stringent requirements.
Utilising the extensive experience Gill has acquired in Ultrasonic flow measurement, prototype units were designed and manufactured. These were then tested and evaluated on engine dynamometers and cars. This process delivered a number of revisions that were required for accommodating different fuel types.
The testing also established the ultrasonic technology and custom algorithms provided the high update rates, accuracy, temperature performance, flow rates and reliability required.
A second, larger, batch of sensors was produced for car testing at the Young Driver Test Event at Silverstone which provided feedback for the final stage enhancements programme.
The final configuration of meters was then submitted to the FIA for them to conduct their own testing against specification, which successfully resulted in FIA homologation for the two motorsport series.
Production units were delivered ready for the 2014 winter testing programme, and for inclusion in the championship rounds themselves.
Time-of-flight Ultrasonics delivered a product performance that would not have been achievable with mechanical based units. The solid state design provided the reliability essential to ensure the new, exacting fuel use regulations could be successfully enforced.
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