Press Releases > Novel Fiber Optic Oil Quantity Sensor for Aerospace Applications

Novel Fiber Optic Oil Quantity Sensor for Aerospace Applications

Press Release

Press Release

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy to develop an oil quantity sensor that greatly improves the method of measuring and assessing oil quantity, volume, and/or level of aircraft propulsion and power lubrication tanks, independent of oil reservoir size/form/shape during all flight conditions.

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a sensor for real-time measurement of oil quantity, temperature and contaminants with high sensitivity/dynamic range under variable flight conditions. The sensor is based on a sensing technique applicable for high-speed measurements, incorporating multiple sensors in a single cable that is placed within the oil tank enabling spatially resolved multi-point detection.  During Phase I, PSI will develop theoretical models to simulate flight conditions and measurement characteristics of the envisioned oil quantity sensor. A prototype sensor system with ten sensing elements (5 for oil quantity, 3 for temperature, and 2 for oil contamination) will be developed and tested to demonstrate feasibility. The successful feasibility experiment will lay the foundation for the Phase I Option development of a low-cost, low power, lightweight sensor design and the testing of a neural network to compensate for the influences of the splash-lubricated gearbox and dynamic flight conditions. Successful completion of the Option program will reduce remaining risk for the development and testing of a complete oil quantity sensor demonstrated under simulated flight conditions during Phase II. The effort leverages prior PSI experience developing sensing technologies for fluid-based measurement systems.

For more information contact:

Mr. William J. Kessler
Vice President, Applied Optics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Office: (978) 689-0003

Acknowledgement of Sponsorship: This work is supported under the Naval Air Warfare Center. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.