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Wing Dynamics Acceleration Sensor

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More power to accelerators

A new generation of acceleration sensors is in the making and promises to improve the monitoring of wing dynamics in the aviation industry. The technology is also promising for monitoring earthquakes.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

Performance sensor systems such as accelerometers based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are crucial for measuring speed of aircraft and their components. The aviation industry is particularly keen on enhancing safety and efficiency of aircraft using improved sensors and accelerometers that overcome current technical challenges and barriers. Against this backdrop, the EU-funded project 'Wing dynamics acceleration sensor' (WINGACCS) worked on designing and testing a MEMS-based accelerometer to monitor active control and health of wing structure in aircraft. In principle, the project team has determined that manufacturing such an advanced accelerometer is possible; however, there are many technical issues to address, such as stability and heat generated by the accelerometer. Based on progress made by the project coordinator and world's leading supplier of MEMS-based sensors and actuators for aerospace industries , the team worked diligently on resolving the challenges. It designed and tested accelerator components, including the digital signal processing unit and analogue application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that would meet today's strict aviation reliability requirements. Such an accelerometer would be very useful in designing and testing the structure of wings in aircraft. Overall, the project's results could revolutionise MEMS accelerometers, leading to more powerful ones with a wide range of applications. The envisioned sensors would be better than current fragile and costly technology and at the same time meet performance requirements. Among the new accelerometer advantages are resistance to strong vibration, noise and warm-up behaviour. This will enable the use of the devices in many aeronautics applications, including navigation. Using the project's very promising findings, the project's lead partner has stated plans to develop a family of products for various applications not only in aeronautics but in earthquake monitoring as well. The latter could help assess damage after a seismic event and support the monitoring of infrastructure such as buildings, bridges and dams. The project's results have been disseminated through several conferences as well as online.

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