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Application Note

The Fastest Sensors on Four Wheels: Fuel for Rocket Speeds

The fastest sensors on four wheels: fuel for rocket speeds

Gill Sensors & Controls (GSC) support to the Bloodhound project continues through the supply of 7 capacitive liquid level sensors for liquid measurement.

Perhaps thought of as the most fascinating aspect of the supersonic car are the hybrid rocket and racing car engine. Providing extra thrust to exceed the current land speed record, the EJ200 engine will contain 1000L of HTP (Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide) which will be pumped to the rocket system using the 500 horse power car engine in just 20 seconds. To ensure there is enough HTP and fuel within the tanks, capacitive liquid level sensors will be used. Their accuracy and reliability is vital for re-fuelling purposes.

Two GSlevel Industrial Liquid Level Sensors are installed into the HTP tank, located behind the bulk head of the vehicle’s cockpit. Real-time liquid level measurement will alert the vehicle’s computer system of the exact amount of liquid leaving the tank to feed the rocket. Reliability is key due to the HTP tank being located in a fully sealed unit. Accessing the sensors for maintenance issues when the car is fully constructed is practically impossible and so the Bloodhound engineers need to be 100% assured of the reliability. The GSC sensors not only provide optimum accuracy, but are also able to withstand the extremes of the surrounding environment. “The capacitive nature of the sensors is very attractive as they are fully sealed units, which means they are going to be more reliable” comments Bloodhound’s Kevin Murray. “To access the HTP tank we actually have to split the car in two. It’s a major maintenance operation which we cannot do in the dry and dusty environment of the South African dried lake bed. We need to be completely confident that the sensors are going to be reliable.”

In addition to the HTP tank sensors, 5 capacitive level sensors are also used throughout the car to provide the same reliability and accuracy for coolant and fuel measurement.

bloodhound fuel level sensor