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Proceedings Paper

Composite tank with structurally integrated noninvasive fluid-level monitoring
Author(s): William B. Spillman; S. Durkee; J. D. Blair
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Paper Abstract

One of the goals of smart structures research is the integration of functions such as sensing, actuation and control into structures themselves. Smart structures research activity to date has largely focused on process control or integrated structural health monitoring. Other functions can also be integrated into structures. In this paper, results of an experimental demonstration integrating fluid level sensing with the structural support of a nonconductive tank are reported. The system utilized a composite capacitance fuel probe permanently bonded into the tank walls as a structural support. The probe was connected in series with a resistor and inductive coil forming a resonant RLC circuit. Non-contact excitation of the circuit through the tank wall and measurement of the resonance frequency allowed the fluid level to be determined. The theoretical basis of the concept is provided and compared with experimental results. Potential applications of the technology are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2444, Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation, (20 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207714
Show Author Affiliations
William B. Spillman, BFGoodrich Aerospace (United States)
S. Durkee, BFGoodrich Aerospace (United States)
J. D. Blair, BFGoodrich Aerospace (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2444:
Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation
William B. Spillman, Editor(s)

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