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    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    uncovering a fuel sensor

    Does "uncovering" here mean "removing"?

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    Apollo 11 landed with less fuel than other missions, and the astronauts encountered a premature low fuel warning. This was later found to be the result of greater propellant 'slosh' than expected, uncovering a fuel sensor. On subsequent missions, extra anti-slosh baffles were added to the tanks to prevent this.[5]

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    Lynxear's Avatar
    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
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    Re: uncovering a fuel sensor

    "Uncovering" sort of means "removing". However, not in the way I think you are suggesting.

    Think of it this way. You can imagine a tank of water. You must maintain a certain level in that tank. So you insert a sensor at a point, just above the critical level. The sensor is placed above the critical level in order to give the maintenance department time to correct the water shortage before it is critical. The sensor is "covered" with water. When the level drops below the sensor, it is no longer "covered" by water and an alert is sounded to the operator. "Uncovering the sensor" simply means the cover (water in this case) has been removed from the sensor... the sensor itself is not removed.

    Now let us say the water level is acceptable but low. If it was possible to move the tank back and forth, the sensor at one point would be uncovered then covered as the water sloshed back and forth with the motion of the tank. So the operator gets a false and probably annoying alert from the sensor as the alarm starts and stops repeatedly.

    This is what the passage you quoted describes with respect to the Apollo fuel tank. The recommended solution is to insert baffles that will reduce the sloshing action but does not hinder the operation of the tank.

    So "uncovering" sort of means "removing". However, it is the fluid covering the sensor that is removed, not the sensor itself.

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