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26 September 2007Nanomaterial-based robust oxygen sensor
Since the TWA flight 800 accident in July 1996, significant emphasis has been placed on fuel tank safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has focused research to support two primary methods of fuel tank
protection - ground-based and on-board - both involving fuel tank inerting. Ground-based fuel tank inerting
involves some combination of fuel scrubbing and ullage washing with Nitrogen Enriched Air (NEA) while the
airplane is on the ground (applicable to all or most operating transport airplanes). On-board fuel tank inerting
involves ullage washing with OBIGGS (on-board inert gas generating system), a system that generates NEA
during aircraft operations. An OBIGGS generally encompasses an air separation module (ASM) to generate
NEA, a compressor, storage tanks, and a distribution system. Essential to the utilization of OBIGGS is an
oxygen sensor that can operate inside the aircraft's ullage and assess the effectiveness of the inerting
systems. OBIGGS can function economically by precisely knowing when to start and when to stop. Toward
achieving these goals, InnoSense LLC is developing an all-optical fuel tank ullage sensor (FTUS) prototype
for detecting oxygen in the ullage of an aircraft fuel tank in flight conditions. Data would be presented to show
response time and wide dynamic range of the sensor in simulated flight conditions and fuel tank
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Kisholoy Goswami, Uma Sampathkumaran, Maksudul Alam, Derek Tseng, Arun K. Majumdar, Alex A. Kazemi, "Nanomaterial-based robust oxygen sensor," Proc. SPIE 6758, Photonics in the Transportation Industry: Auto to Aerospace, 67580F (26 September 2007); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.747324