Unmanned Aircraft Flight Uses UK Sensor Technology

Using Gill Sensors, the UAV Factory team marked a world record with small-class unmanned aircraft for the longest recorded flight.

In July 2012, a milestone success was observed with “Penguin B” aircraft, where it remained in the air for 54½ hours, exceeding the earlier record by 43%. Gill Sensors’ input included the manufacture of a novel fuel level sensor, which facilitated precise and convenient monitoring of the volume of left-over fuel in the 7.5 l tank.

Gill Sensors team was challenged by the space constraint and the shape of the fuel tank which posed a difficulty to mount the sensor. Based on their expertise in fuel sensor technology, Gill Sensors designers created a unique sensor that is capable of being installed across the side wall of the tank. The final product resulted as a Gill micro liquid level sensor having specifically- angled probe that ensures precise monitoring of the tank depth. It was delivered to UAV Factory pre-calibrated, and ready for mounting in the fuel tank.

Adoption of new microelectronics providing a 50% space saving than standard electronics contributes to the superior performance and ideal implementation of the Gill fuel sensor for this aviation application. In addition to creating space efficiency, this versatile offering reduces the overall weight of the sensor which was only 60 g, thereby benefiting UAV manufacturers.

The micro sensors were delivered calibrated for 95 Octane Petroleum featuring a 2% full synthetic oil mix. With an operating temperature range starting from 40ºC to 125ºC, these sensors comply with the essential requirements for vibration, humidity, and EMC and are environmentally sealed to IP68.

Will Soutter

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Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

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