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Improving in-service reliability of hovercraft fleet


Gill Sensors improve in-service reliability on fleet of hovercraft

Gill Sensors develop high- quality capacitive liquid level sensor for leading international hovercraft manufacturer – Griffon Hoverwork.

With hovercraft propellers and turbulent sea conditions generating high vibrations and unsteady conditions, the accumulation of reliable fuel level data is difficult to achieve. This was the problem faced by Griffon Hoverwork, who required a sensor that could be installed inside the hovercraft fuel tank which would provide continuous and accurate data, whilst remaining fully-functional within severe operational conditions.

Using the existing technology from the standard GSlevel range, Gill produced a high-temperature capacitive level sensor with an electronics operating temperature range of – 40°C to +125°C, to meet the high temperatures experienced under the hovercraft skirt.

The sensor is constructed from marine grade 316 stainless steel, is solid-state and has no moving parts to provide long-term durability. In order to ensure that the sensor design and construction would continue to remain seaworthy against the harsh environment requirements, a rigorous testing programme was undertaken, proving environmental aspects such as thermal, humidity, vibration, ingress protection, corrosion resistance and EMCagainst tough EN60945 standards.

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Gill’s liquid level sensors have been installed into the new fleet of hovercraft.

The sensor has also been designed and manufactured with an NMEA 2000 compatible CANBUS output allowing Griffon to connect the sensor with other devices as part of an integrated networking system. Offering both SAE 5-bolt and 1.25” thread mounting for easy installation, the marine sensor provides Griffon with an extremely durable sensing solution suited to the demanding application.

Using in-house design and manufacturing facilities, Gill has been able to deliver Griffon with critical monitoring of fuel levels with confidence that the accuracy and reliability is maintained during hovercraft operation.

The marine liquid level sensors have been deployed as a standard fit into the new fleet of hovercraft to ensure ultimate in-service reliability throughout the expected life of the craft.