Smart tanks, smart vessels and smart pipes for spacecraft using non-intrusive electrical capacitance tomography

Measurement of the mass and slosh forces in test tanks, satellite tanks and launcher tanks. Systems for ground-test applications are commercially available now, for example measurement of gas volume fraction in cryogenic liquids. Gauging propellant in microgravity or zero gravity conditions remains a significant technical challenge. Atout Process have demonstrated a smart space tank, which utilises electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) for the accurate real-time measurement of propellant or oxidiser mass and slosh torque vector. ECT is an imaging technique for visualising industrial processes containing dielectric materials. It can be used to investigate the internal dynamic behaviour by presenting a cross-sectional
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Atout chosen by UKSA as Case Study

Atout is proud to have been chosen by the UK Space Agency as one of the case studies in its new brochure about the National Space Technology Programme. The project was jointly funded by UK Space Agency, Atout Process Ltd, and Catena Space Ltd in collaboration with Orbital ATK. Results indicate that the performance of ECT measurements in a real satellite tank can be made to levels of accuracy better than 1% and that Atout’s Smart Tanks for Space* concept is ready for engineering into real spacecraft.  *Mark of Atout Process Ltd
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New ECT Research System

Our new APL-C-900 ECT research system has just been upgraded and the performance specification updated. Contact us to get a copy. APL-C-900 Base System The APL-C-900 base system is required for all Atout ECT systems.  It incorporates the power supply and ethernet communication bus and includes the control PC (laptop) and the powerful range of APL software including: Data acquisition (real-time) software: •           multi-frequency operation 1MHz, 2.5MHz, 5 MHz square wave, •           acquire and display capacitances in fF in real-time, •           save data in .bcp format and .csv format, •           capable of undertaking calibration in rig without sensor removal, •           save and load calibration files as required.
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Smart Tanks for Space*

Atout Process, in collaboration with ArianeGroup, and DLR are very pleased to announce the first results from a full scale CFC Smart Tank section. In a world first, the primary Smart Tank measurement, Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) has been successfully scaled up to 1m diameter for spacecraft applications. Ground based testing anticipates a target value down to 0.1%, in real time, for all fill levels, with sloshing propellant. The project has also successfully demonstrated gauging with tanks that include internal equipment, and has shown measurement of liquid nitrogen. Smart Tanks are being developed to provide reliable measurement of propellant mass
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