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Editor in chief:
CLARA MOSCHINI

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State-of-the-art civil aviation sensors

Thanks to an European project coordinated by the Turin Polytechnic

An innovative, modular and fully integrated system for measuring and calculating flight parameters: this is the result of the “Modular and Integrated Digital Probe for Sat Aircraft Air Data System” (MIDAS) project, funded under the Small Air Transport program (SAT) of "Clean Sky 2" from the European Union and from Piaggio Aerospace and developed by Manuela Battipede, Piero Gili and Angelo Lerro, professors of the Department of mechanical and aerospace engineering of the Polytechnic of Turin. Inrim and Selt Aerospace project partners.

It is an air data system that allows to obtain different parameters from the external environment -such as pressure, angles of the wind direction regarding to the aircraft and temperature- indispensable for piloting, controlling and navigating aircraft. An innovation that bases its foundations on virtual sensors -“System and process for measuring and evaluating air and inertial data”, a licence previously registered by the same research group- which, if used, allows reducing the number of on-board sensors, compared to traditional solutions. The simplification derives from the "ability to estimate" that the system possesses: of the five "air" quantities necessary for piloting, three are registered and two are estimated. This not only guarantees the same level of accuracy and reliability, but simplifies the system. For the first time, this system can be used for aerial work on civil aircraft and for the so-called Small Air Transport (SAT), from 4 to 19 seats. Moreover, the new system will contribute to the achievement of the objectives set by the Community agreements for 2035 for SAT: 30% reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, 40% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and 70% in noise to reduce pollution. Possible improvements thanks to the reduction of the weight, of the necessary electric power and improving the external aerodynamics. The system will be designed, built and verified according to the standards of aeronautical legislation: a project already thought in perspective for the creation of a final prototype that can be suitable for experimental flight.

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