Car Fuel Quality Monitoring
Electronic Circuit Design for RF Impedance Spectroscopy


Aim of the project

In the near future many car engines will run on mixtures of ethanol and gasoline (bio-fuel). Low-cost sensor systems are monitor the fuel quality (= amount of ethanol, water and gasoline) on-line in the car to control and prevent damage to the engine.


Project description

A feasability study has already shown that measurement of the dielectric constant of fuel in the microwave spectral range enables detection of water, gasoline and ethanol.
A team of 3 students, sponsored by the Ford-Poling (*) Fund, should  design and develop a low cost sensor- and electronic system that can determine the amount of ethanol, gasoline and water on line in the fuel line or tank of a car.
Since size is limited and cost should be low, dedicated CMOS circuits will be required in most parts of the system.

Main challenges for this part of the project are:

  • Design of dedicated CMOS circuits in the GHz range for driving and readout of the impedance sensor (amplifiers, mixers, etc.)
  • Working closely together with 2 other students on the design and development the sensor and electronics and final testing of the complete system.


We offer a challenging project in close collaboration with  a company for an MSc student interested in circuit

(*) The Ford-Poling Competitive Edge Challenge is an initiative of Ford Motor Company that seeks to leverage Ford's network of key university partners to support corporate goals and objectives 



Ger de Graaf