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Gill R&D Oil Level Sensor for helicopter rear rotor hub

May 14, 2014

gill-rd-application-story-eurocopter.jpgIn a research study preventing tail-rotor bearing failure - a catastrophic failure - the customer needed to be able to measure the oil level in the rotor hub oil reservoir.

The Challenge

With a maximum rotation speed of 800rpm, any solution had to withstand high levels of vibration.

Initially for a test rig, the sensor had to fit an existing aperture in the rotor hub, minimise weight, include locking wire positions and an integrated connector. A minimal power consumption of typically 10mA @12 volts for a battery or energy harvesting power source; a fully sealed, inverted operation design to ensure no oil leakage through the sensor resulting from high centrifugal forces.

The Results

Incorporating a threaded interface to suit an AN814-6 mounting with 1.65mm and 1.9mm diameter locking wire positions, the metallic parts of the sensor were wholly manufactured from Titanium to minimise weight. Fully sealed to a minimum pressure rating of 0.3 bar, an aerospace approved connector was integrated into the housing. The minimal power requirements were also achieved.

Project Results and Benefits

  • Compact, robust sensor to withstand vibrational and centrifugal forces
  • Minimised weight and power consumption
  • Threaded mounting flange with locking wire positions
  • Fully sealed and potted to prevent oil leakage
  • Pressure rated to 0.3 bar
  • Integrated high specification, aerospace approved connector
  • Solid state with built-in electronics
  • Prototypes delivered to agreed timescale

Phases of working with the customer

  • Receipt of brief from customer
  • Agreement and approval on package of work to be supplied within agreed timescales
  • Development of design incorporating all the key features specified by the customer
  • Supply of drawings and 3D CAD models for customer to approve mechanical integration
  • Manufacture of prototype sensors for testing within the customer's engineering rig
  • Ongoing support as project moves forward to next phase.



 

 
 

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