On-board monitoring of fuel properties

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Lollini, L.
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Several kinds of kerosene fuels, produced in different countries, can be used on helicopters powered by turbine engines (e.g. JET A / A-1, JP-5, JP-8, Russian TS-1, Chinese N°3 Jet fuel ...). Furthermore, kerosene fuels such as JET A and JET A-1 can be obtained from either crude oil or non-conventional sources (eg. lipid based fuels, sugar cane, coal, natural gas etc). As a result, the dispersion of certain fuel characteristics is not negligible, even if the fuels meet the fuel specification requirements. Fuel systems of tomorrow will almost certainly have to adapt in order to be able to provide an increasing level of operational performance, regardless of the type of fuel used and how they were obtained (through from crude oil or alternative pathways). This should require developing new capabilities, to minimize the effects of the dispersions mentioned earlier on the three main fuel properties involved in the design and performance of the fuel system: density, viscosity and dielectric constant. In parallel, any other complementary information, such as presence of bio contamination could also be part of the useful information to flight crew and maintenance staff in the future.