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Friday, May 8, 2015

Turboprop Fuel Level Senders - Digital

Bull Aircraft - Digital Fuel Level 

This  will be the first of many announcements we are allowed to make before the end of May 2015.

Another customer is added to the list.   Bull Aircraft manufactures a turboprop utility plane the Explorer.  

Bull Aircraft Website

We manufactured our new TSO Senders for this kit built aircraft providing a universal sender for every location. These senders incorporate fuel temperature probes to provide - Lbs. or Kilo's Fuel as this is a Jet A Application utilizing the Walter M601 Turbine.

We are interfacing with a VR Avionics MFD and we expect to see an interesting interface for fuel level.

Both,  Bull Aircraft and VR are Experimental - but the senders for this aircraft are FAA TSO Approved.

We think this aircraft will be sucessful.

CiES Inc Website

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cardinal Flyers Organization Digest - Sun & Fun

FROM THE Cardinal Flyers Organization DIGEST 

JP Instruments, the engine monitor folks, shared that they continue to work with CIES, a friend of CFO's, who have introduced a superior design fuel level transmitter.


The JPI930 certified engine instrument replacement already works with the CIES transmitter in native mode, frequency domain.


The JPI900 certified engine instrument replacement works with the CIES transmitter in voltage or current mode.

CiES Inc 177 Fuel Senders 
Several Cardinal owners have already ordered the CIES transmitters to improve repeatability and accuracy of their fuel level measurements, while reducing installation cost and fuss, and hopefully achieving longer term reliability.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Three Fundamental Truths About Aircraft Fuel Level

We have a unique perspective to aircraft fuel level,  in that CiES works daily on these systems.  We see the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

What we have observed and are sharing here is what CiES has determined to be the

Three Fundamental Truths about Aircraft Fuel Level Systems. 

Here they are:

If the technology of fuel level measurement can find the surface of the fuel reliably. 
    • Floats that actually float or are allowed to float.
    • A set capacitance based on fuel level in a tube (ignoring temperature & other fuel dielectric effects).
    • Ultrasonics tend to get messed up with foaming fuel. 
If the basic sensor system can output a lot of data related to fuel level. 
    • A capacitance fuel level system can output a theoretically infinite number of data points - but realistically in an actual fuel level device -  potentially 10,000 to 30,000 data points 
    • Our Magnetic Field Technology has 10,000 to 12,000 data points.
    • A legacy potentiometer system that provides maybe 50 or 60 data points (wiper and trace size controlling the data point size) 

If your fuel level display system can capture the complexities of a fuel tank curve  
    • a non linearly marked fuel gauge or an Multi Function Display with a calibration feature

Then if these three criteria are met - you will have an excellent aircraft fuel level system - meet a few of them and your fuel level system will be functional. 

As we know the world isn’t perfect -  

To make a old aircraft fuel level system work well -  You need to make a unique potentiometer, carefully assemble it to reduce internal friction, maintain wiper contact and hope it all holds together and doesn’t corrode.  

Now combine the above with a non linear and an easy to calibrate gauge.  This is fussy work at best.


Here is  our real world challenge  - 

  • Say for example you have a simple fuel gauge marked with the same distance from Empty to 1/2 tank, & from 1/2 tank to full 
  • We are all very familiar how long it takes to go from Full to 1/2 Tank and that it takes a fraction of the time to go from 1/2 Tank to Empty.
    • The above is a fundamental universal truth. 
  • Therefore because CiES can  - we load a tank table with a characteristic curve onto internal memory on the sender.
    • Log, Sine, 3rd order, 4th order, 5th order, Non Linear - You name it - We can do it - challenge us.
    • Of course we need the tank function and a simple gauge to get it right.
  • Unlike a potentiometer - we don’t have to cram all that onto a circuit card by physically making the small steps with variably positioned traces, or onto a carefully delineated gauge.
  • We have 10,000 reliable data points with our sensor technology - we just do it in software - easy peasy. 

Just don’t tell me that fuel gauges only have to be accurate at empty - we get all apoleptic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cessna - New Technology Non-Contact Fuel Level Sender

CiES Inc, Cessna Fuel Level Sender 

We are in the process of serial manufacture of a Cessna Fuel Level Sensor.  

Cessna Fuel Level Sender 
This fuel level sensor utilizes our patented magnetic field technology and carries FAA TSO Approval.  

Note:  TSO Approval is FAA component approval and not FAA installation approval.

We set out in 2010 to change the dialogue about fuel level indication in aircraft & we accomplished this by building an aerospace specific fuel sender design.  

Fuel Level Sender Exploded View
This new fuel sender design, while resembling older technology potentiometer fuel level senders, centers around a robust patented non contact sensor technology.  

The only common part between our fuel level sender and old technology is the float.  You can see the CiES attention to detail we are internationally known for.

Our goal was to design a fuel level system that had the potential of replacing many legacy aircraft fuel senders in the field.  Our initial fuel sender production was utilized almost exclusively by OEM aircraft manufacturers and to meet OEM requirements they utilized a robust proprietary digital output.  Unfortunately this output was only suitable for Garmin G1000, JPI 930 & Aerospace Logic displays and instrumentation.   We have produced over 7,500 non contact fuel level senders in this configuration and the results have been exceptional.

Our recently issued TSO allows us to reach and support a broader range of cockpit fuel indication interfaces and as a correlation allow CiES to spread it's wings so to speak.   This new sender design allows the CiES fuel level sender to output a variable voltage or resistive load giving us a nearly universal capability to support legacy aircraft.

As such, we are actively working on CiES fuel level solutions for many popular aircraft. 

Contact us and see if we have a solution for your aircraft.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

FAA TSO'd Fuel & Oil Level Senders

Another Milestone Accomplished 

We received our second TSO C55a designation for our aviation fuel level senders. 

To meet this requirement our senders were rigorously tested in in harsh environmental and electrical conditions.

In these conditions, the CiES senders had to provide a stable and effective fuel level output.

Our output quality level met the most rigorous FAA TSO standard for fuel level sending @ 0.75% of full tank volume.  A fuel level standard that the big iron fuel senders can only hope to achieve. 

Meeting these standards proves that CiES technology provides an accurate fuel level output for any aircraft or rotorcraft type.

The fact that a float based sensor meets this critical FAA requirement - proves our technological and patent advantages, as
only CiES produces FAA TSO Approved Float Sensors. 

Additionally there are no wires or electrical components in the fuel volume.  The requirements of the FAA Advisory Circular AC 25.981-1C - Fuel Tank Flammability are inherently met in our fuel sender design.

What was Added to the New Sensor

  • Universal Level Output
    • Resistance 
    • Voltage
    • Frequency
  • Fuel Temperature Output 
    • Lbs or Kilos Fuel Level Capability
  • Flying Lead Connection
    • Better Connection Flexibility
    • Unlimited Connection Interface.
    • Can Accommodate Limited or Tight Connection Clearance  
  • Simpler Data Transmission Between Senders.
  • 7 fold Increase in Output Sensitivity
  • Improved Flexibility in Meeting Future Fuel Level Challenges
    • Larger Data Processing Headroom
    • Filtering and Smoothing 
    • Internal Fuel Tank Mapping Capability  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Heli-Expo 2015 - AS350 Fuel Tank

Heli-Expo 2015

We are happy to show the Robertson Fuel System - Airbus AS350 Tank in the Vector Aerospace booth.

Our fuel level indication system is finding favor in many applications.

The unique nature of our magnetic field technology makes for a robust and accurate fuel level sender.

We have produced rotorcraft fuel senders and fuel senders for Jet A fuel applications, but this combination is a first for our application.

Our capability is exceptional and we are excited every time we are able to prove this in a new application.

We change opinions on how an accurate fuel level can be attained and are replacing legacy fuel quantity systems in the field

Check into our capabilities and we will change your perceptions.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cessna - Friggin Lasers in Their Fuel Tank

Hidden Costs Behind the High Cost of Aviation 

I had started to re-energize our 2015 marketing effort  and wrote a few blog posts about delivering magnetic field fuel senders to,  new to us,  European Aircraft and Helicopter customers.  We seem to be popular over there,  we may owe many thanks to Flieger editor Thomas Borchert  
To check on our progress on our google search listing placement,  I ran across a G1000 Cessna Fuel Sender for Sale on Ebay  and thought I'd share it.
This is a Meggitt TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) Fuel Level Sensor for a Cessna Single Engine.
  • Used Ebay Price is $1,800 each
  • New Price from large Cessna Parts Jobber is $3,100
  • Cessna List Price is $3,864.  
The Meggitt Fuel Level Sensors do look well made and come with a nice calibration sheet for your Cessna 172, 182 or 206.
Replacement Cost for 2 of these sensors on a Cessna would be $7K to $8K a Kit -  Installed cost would be well over $10,000 - This for a retrofit fuel level system on a Cessna 172 for heavens sake.  It is painfully obvious why there isn't a retrofit STC available.
Maybe some in aviation are correct,  airplanes are getting to be very expensive  - part prices contributing greatly.  But with a bit of creativity, it doesn't have to be.   
The caveat is,  that our Fuel Level Sensors met all the FAA TSO requirements that the TDR fuel sensor has met - and we do it for far less money.  I was told early on,  Engineering is not building the best without regard to cost, it is providing best performance at a price that is attractive to your consumer and the FAA.   
While I have heard that our FAA TSO fuel level sensors are expensive compared to legacy commercial grade resistance fuel senders, i.e. the kind of sensor they used to put in aircraft of the past.   I agree to a point on the expensive part arguement, but I truly feel CiES hit the target.  We provide improved aviation technology and performance at a competitive price. 
This Meggitt TDR sensor is not a well known change to the venerable Cessna Single Engine Lineup,  you would be hard pressed to know this was in your wing unless you queried the Cessna Illustrated Parts Catalogue.   There is no mention of this system any Cessna Marketing literature.   You'd think that a $8,000 fuel level system would be worthy of editorial or marketing content  - I guess it isn't.

Almost overnight the world of aviation fuel level changed and somehow nobody bothered to notice.

The TDR system works by shining laser light down a glass rod and measuring returns, so next time you come in contact with a G1000 Cessna owner - Let them know they have "friggin" lasers in their fuel tanks. I am going to bet they'll be surprised.