Ultrasonic Measurement of Aircraft Strut Hydraulic Fluid Level 2002-01-2935
An ultrasonic method is presented for non-intrusively measuring hydraulic fluid level in aircraft struts in the field quickly and easily without modifying the strut or aircraft. The technique interrogates the strut with ultrasonic waves generated and received by a removable ultrasonic transducer hand-held on the outside of the strut in a fashion that inthe presence or absence of hydraulic fluid inside the strut. This technique was successfully demonstrated on an A-6 aircraft strut on the carriage at the Aircraft Landing Dynamics Research Facility at NASA Langley Research Center. Conventional practice upon detection of strut problem symptoms is to remove aircraft from service for extensive maintenance to determine fluid level. No practical technique like the method presented herein for locating strut hydraulic fluid level is currently known to be used.