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Journal of Control Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 267519, 8 pages
Research Article

Continuous Fuel Level Sensor Based on Spiral Side-Emitting Optical Fiber

Department of Control Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Road, Hubei, Wuhan 430074, China

Received 1 July 2012; Revised 15 October 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012

Academic Editor: Derong Liu

Copyright © 2012 Chengrui Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A continuous fuel level sensor using a side-emitting optical fiber is introduced in this paper. This sensor operates on the modulation of the light intensity in fiber, which is caused by the cladding’s acceptance angle change when it is immersed in fuel. The fiber is bent as a spiral shape to increase the sensor’s sensitivity by increasing the attenuation coefficient and fiber’s submerged length compared to liquid level. The attenuation coefficients of fiber with different bent radiuses in the air and water are acquired through experiments. The fiber is designed as a spiral shape with a steadily changing slope, and its response to water level is simulated. The experimental results taken in water and aviation kerosene demonstrate a performance of 0.9 m range and 10 mm resolution.