A national aerospace and aeronautic research organisation required a prototype ultrasonic gas flow sensor to understand the physics of operating ultrasonics in a low pressure environment.
The sensor was required to operate in pressures of ~4.3 psi at both low and high flow rates, ranging from ~56 - 170 lpm. These requirements had to be balanced with a minimised mechanical package size. The unit would then be evaluated as an option for the flow measurement device in the Portable Life Support System Ventilation Loop. This project was also required in short lead times to allow evaluation of an ultrasonic gas flow sensor, following testing of an earlier unit.
The work package requirement was the supply of a unit for bench evaluation, and the customers' requirements were presented and agreed in a Statement of Work.
A Gill respiratory gas flow sensor unit was used as the basis of the evaluation unit, with the flow tube bore increased to cater for the higher flow rates, and new electronics were developed to replace obsolete components.
Alongside this work Gill undertook studies to understand the requirements to meet the specified performance at low internal pressures. These included:
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