Gas liquid level and location determination
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Heidi Elliott El Campo High School El Campo ISD POWER SET Sponsor Cable Kurwitz Department of Nuclear Engineering Nuclear Power Institute Texas A&M University. Gas/Liquid Level and Location Determination. Dr. Cable Kurwitz. Department of Nuclear Engineering

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Gas liquid level and location determination

Heidi Elliott

El Campo High School

El Campo ISD


Cable Kurwitz

Department of Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear Power Institute

Texas A&M University

Gas/Liquid Level and Location Determination

Dr cable kurwitz
Dr. Cable Kurwitz

  • Department of Nuclear Engineering

    • Office: 3rd floor of Zachry (303N)

  • Interphase Transport Phenomena Laboratory – Zachry Basement

    • Graduate and Undergraduate students

      • Jake Peterson

    • Utilize multiple facilities and methods

  • Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) – University Services Building

Serc mission
SERC Mission

  • To raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of important Space Technologies by assisting Business, Government, and Education with Research and Development Projects

Og Gas/Fluid Inventory Determination

Og gas fluid inventory determination
Og Gas/Fluid Inventory Determination

  • Accurate inventory determination is challenging due to a few factors:

    • Substance orientation

    • Substance properties

    • Measurement technique

  • Several RFPs have been granted to develop new technologies to provide better accuracy in 1g and 0g conditions

What s the goal
What’s The Goal?

  • Develop a non-intrusive, reliable, simple instrument to accurately determine the inventory level

    • Use ‘dumb’ sensors

    • Utilize simple physics

    • Take advantage of ‘random’ nature of fluid

Compressed sensing
Compressed Sensing

  • Process of acquiring and reconstructing a signal that is supposed to be sparse or compressible.

  • An undetermined system has more unknowns than equations and generally has an infinite number of solutions.

    • However, if there is a unique sparse solution to the underdetermined system, then the Compressed Sensing framework allows the recovery of that solution.

    • Not all underdetermined systems of linear equations have a sparse solution.


  • Develop MCNP model to stochastically track particles/photons through system and record counts at detector locations

  • Develop a library of known fill levels and detector responses

  • Query library with new detector responses to determine fill level utilizing compressed sensing approaches

More complex system
More Complex System

  • An interest in determining fill level and location of liquid in tank in zero gravity

  • Utilize similar approach to earth-g system but allow liquid to be located anywhere in the tank.

  • Solve for both fill and location

Engineering design process
Engineering Design Process

Courtesy of Project Lead The Way

What s my role
What’s My Role?

  • Research prototype design possibilities

What s my role1
What’s My Role?

  • Design experiment

    • Perform calculations involving materials

What s my role2
What’s My Role?

  • Designing experiment prototype

    • Generate prototype concepts

    • Perform design calculations

    • Assemble prototype

  • Time Permitting:

    • Test and Evaluate

    • Refine

Future implications1
Future Implications

  • Other systems involving fluids and the need for inventory sensing and location determination


  • A new approach to inventory fill determination has been demonstrated utilizing a unique, simple, non-intrusive detector arrangement

  • Approach may potentially be capable of accurately determining zero-g liquid inventory and liquid location

Classroom application
Classroom Application

  • Pre-AP Algebra II

  • Linear programming

    • Students will be expected to formulate systems of equations and inequalities from this particular situation, use a variety of methods to solve, and then analyze the solution in terms of the situation.


  • TAMU E3 Program

  • Nuclear Power Institute

  • National Science Foundation

  • Dr. Cable Kurwitz – PI

  • Jake Peterson – MS Student

  • Dr. Igor Carron – Collaborator from France