Modern aviation owes much of its success to gas turbine engines that convert fuel into massive thrust, enabling large passenger aircraft to travel long distances at high speeds. Jet engines, however, require large fuel loads, most of which is carried in fuel tanks that span both of an aircraft’s main wings. The Airbus A380, for example, has a maximum fuel capacity of over 85,000 gallons. To ensure the safety of flight, the commanding pilot is required to accurately monitor and log fuel consumption rates to properly manage the plane’s weight and balance.
Understanding the critical importance of in-flight fuel monitoring and continuously striving to advance aerospace technology, the Fluid Systems Division of Parker Aerospace has teamed with Oxsensis Ltd., a manufacturer of optical instrumentation used in harsh environments, to develop a unique optical-based system that will transform and simplify the next generation of aircraft fuel measurement systems. This new technology is expected to reduce installation time and maintenance costs with fewer components.