Sensor Solutions for Aerospace

Sensor Solutions for Aerospace

 Image Credit: First Sensor

Sensors, electronic circuits, modules and customized systems have a decisive influence on the quality, economic efficiency and safety of aerospace applications. Extreme environmental conditions such as vibrations, acceleration and temperature changes place extreme demands on the resilience and reliability of the products but at the same time the systems also need to be light, small and sophisticated. Moreover, the operation, long development and approval times in the aerospace field require reliable cooperation partners for development and production activities and also to assure particularly long-term availability of the products.

Owned by First Sensor AG, First Sensor Lewicki GmbH has more than five decades of application experience and expertise in aerospace technology and operates development, production and service activities in accordance with EN 9100-certifed processes and procedures.

In order to check the reliability of its products, First Sensor performs both stress tests (design margin tests) and screening and qualification, for instance, according to ESA standards. The use of next-generation thick-film hybrid technology helps construct robust, small, and ultra-reliable electronic circuits and modules, for example, in power electronics applications. First Sensor’s custom systems provide customers significant cost savings in the development of OEM devices as well as competitive benefits, thanks to the innovative solutions and the resulting short development cycles.

Sensor Solutions for Aerospace

In addition, First Sensor provides position-sensitive diodes (PSD) with extremely high spatial resolution. These diodes register the relative change in position of a dot on the detector. Launched in 2012, the NuSTAR X-ray satellite employs First Sensor's two-dimensional photodiodes that are part of the PSD Series and come with an active sensor area of 400 mm² to handle the continuous alignment of the telescope lens relative to the sensor unit.

First Sensor offers precision inertial sensors for use in navigation and control applications for both aircraft and unmanned spacecraft and also for stabilizing antennas and platforms. The acceleration and capacitive inclination sensors are based on the latest micro-machining technology and single crystal silicon sensor elements. The MEMS sensors are designed to achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio and excellent temperature stability, and they can detect even the smallest changes in acceleration or position.

The high aspect ratio microstructures (HARMS) ensure ultra-low cross axis sensitivities. In addition, the patented Air gap Insulated Microstructures (AIM) technology insulates the active areas with an air gap and thereby reduces parasitic capacitances. Thanks to the novel technology platform, the inertial sensors can be flexibly adjusted according to customers’ specific needs.

The miniature solenoid valves and pressure sensors from First Sensor can monitor and control the internal cabin pressure in aircraft, thus protecting the oxygen levels and air pressure needed for breathing in pressurized cabins up to altitudes of 15 km. The differential pressure between the outside atmospheric pressure and the internal cabin pressure is adjusted to the respective flying altitude so that the structure is not subjected to needless stresses.

In case the cabin pressure falls below a critical value, the pressure sensors will also trigger the emergency oxygen supply. Part of the HDI Series, the precision piezoresistive silicon pressure sensors provide measurement ranges of up to 5 bar absolute pressure.

First Sensor also develops and manufactures multi-sensor modules that combine various components such as micro-controllers, switches, pumps, valves and sensors to develop compact plug-and-play solutions. With the help of plastic manifolds, flow channels can be precisely arranged in three-dimension without the need for fault-prone and cumbersome piping for the individual components.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by First Sensor AG.

For more information on this source, please visit First Sensor AG.


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