Car Fuel Quality Monitoring
Sensor 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.

Main challenges for this part of the project are:

  • Design of a (low cost) sensor probe for RF impedance measurement in the GHz range in liquids, e.g. open ended coaxial probes or  transmission-lines etc.
  • Testing probe performance in fuel using available vector analyzers.  
  • 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 RF measurement

(*) 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