Blogger Themes

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Miniaturized Power Modules for Aircraft Bodies

Vienna University of Technology
June 14, 2011

Sensor networks are supposed to pervade the body of airplanes in the future – much like a nervous system. Thanks to a joint research project of EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany) and the Vienna University of Technology, the single sensor elements do not require any external power supply.

Aircraft maintenance can be time consuming and expensive. It is much simpler if the airplane itself reports, where maintenance is required. The best solution is an approach for the sensor network, which even provides its own power supply and is therefore independent of electrical wiring – and this is what has now been developed by EADS EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany), in cooperation with the Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna). For each individual sensor, electricity is produced by a thermoelectric generator with a small water tank, storing thermal energy. The electricity is simply generated from the temperature difference between the icy cold air in high altitudes and the water –based heat storing unit (and vice versa). This novel approach for providing locally the energy for the operation of the sensor network could not only facilitate aircraft maintenance, but also increase comfort for travelers.


Post a Comment