Since Orville and Wilbur Wright first demonstrated the viability of flight in 1903, flying vehicles have come a long way. While a marvel of its time, the Wright Flyer lacked any electronics. Presently, aerospace vehicles consist of thousands of PCBAs and electronic devices, many of which are sensors.
Today, sensors are a critical part of the majority of advanced aircraft. For instance, the Air Force’s F-35 jet relies on sensors for monitoring system parameters, such as fuel, air temperature, oxygen, oil, positioning, and pressure. All of these variables are important, and optimizing the pressure sensors utilized for such uses are paramount for mission success.
Pressure sensors are devices used to measure the pressure of gasses or liquids. More specifically, pressure serves as an expression of the force required to stop a fluid from expanding and is typically written in terms of force per unit area. In general, a pressure sensor acts as a transducer by generating a signal as a function of the pressure imposed.
Types of Pressure Sensors and Their Applications
Whether for commercial airliners, defense aircraft, or spacecraft, pressure sensors are used in nearly all applications, both internal and external. To better understand their usage for commercial, defense, and space applications, we will outline some of the most common uses below.
Choosing a Pressure Sensor for Aerospace Design
When selecting a pressure sensor for your aerospace application, it is important to keep a few factors in mind. These key factors include:
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