Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Next-generation Sensors May Help Avert Airline Disasters

Date:
March 28, 2008
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
Everyone on board an Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) plane died when it collided with a light aircraft and exploded in a luggage hanger in Milan in 2001. The smaller plane had taxied wrongly and ended up on the runway where the SAS aircraft was taking off. The following year, two planes collided in mid-air over Überlingen in the south of Germany on the edge of Lake Constance. One was a Russian passenger flight from Moscow to Barcelona, while the other was a cargo plane heading for Belgium from the Persian Gulf. Seventy-one people died.

The current version of the sensor package that will make autopilot systems all over the world even safer.
Credit: Memscap/Boeing

Everyone on board an Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) plane died when it collided with a light aircraft and exploded in a luggage hanger in Milan in 2001. The smaller plane had taxied wrongly and ended up on the runway where the SAS aircraft was taking off.

Related Articles


The following year, two planes collided in mid-air over Überlingen in the south of Germany on the edge of Lake Constance. One was a Russian passenger flight from Moscow to Barcelona, while the other was a cargo plane heading for Belgium from the Persian Gulf. Seventy-one persons died.

Safety need to be improved

As air transport grows, take-offs become more tightly spaced and more and more planes are circling airports as they wait for permission to land, the potential for disasters increases.

Last year alone, international air traffic grew by 5.9 percent. Parallel to this increase, the minimum distance between aircraft in the air in European airspace has decreased. The minimum vertical distance between aircraft has been halved from 600 metres to 300 for planes flying above 29000 feet. The idea has been to increase airspace capacity by 20 percent. Routes are shortened, and airlines expect to save the huge sum of NOK 30 billion a year in fuel costs alone.

But what above safety up there? In the wake of a number of disasters in the air in 2001 and 2002, the EU took up the problem and resolved that certain aspects of the industry should be studied in detail and evaluated in terms of safety. Several projects were launched under its 6th Framework Programme. One of these was the HASTEC project, which was to develop the next generation of pressure sensors for better aircraft altitude measurement.

Next-generation sensors

“There is a need for aircraft sensors that are more accurate than current models, which are large and reliable, but expensive systems,” says Sigurd Moe of SINTEF ICT. “Among other things, they need to be more stable throughout their life-cycle. The problem with current sensors is that they need to be checked and calibrated regularly, and this is an expensive process since the aircraft needs to be grounded.

Challenges

The problem is that mechanical tensions may develop in the connection with the sensor package itself. The scientists therefore had to produce a silicon based sensor structure in which such tensions would not transmit/propogate into the chip itself. The solution was a spiral silicon element in which the pressure-sensitive part was not affected even if the mounting stretches and drags the element.

SINTEF produces silicon wafers with hundreds of chips on each wafer, several of which are laid on top of each other and glued together before being sawn into chips. Individual chips are then selected and integrated into a sensor package that has been developed by Memscap. The company produces, assembles and tests the sensor package itself.

The first prototype has now been delivered to Memscap by the scientists for further testing and mounting. During the first six months of 2008 these new-technology sensors will be flight tested.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "Next-generation Sensors May Help Avert Airline Disasters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326225055.htm>.
SINTEF. (2008, March 28). Next-generation Sensors May Help Avert Airline Disasters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326225055.htm
SINTEF. "Next-generation Sensors May Help Avert Airline Disasters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326225055.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins