NBAA Convention News

New system monitors tire pressure

 - September 20, 2007, 7:28 AM

Technology that can tell a farmer whether a cow has a fever is the basis for a new monitoring system for aircraft tires.

Crane Aerospace & Electronics is demonstrating its SmartStem system for automatic sensing of tire pressures on business airplanes at its booth (No. 2523). Development of the system traces its roots back to the radio-frequency identification chips that are embedded in cows’ ears. In its SmartStem version, the system replaces existing inflation valve stems with wireless monitoring chips that measure tire pressure, temperature and other information from tires and wheels. These readings are communicated to a control unit on board the aircraft or to a handheld unit.

The chips can be retrofitted, Crane said, and provide an accurate method of maintaining proper pressure to extend tire life.

SmartStem technology has been proven on the Boeing 777, the company said, and is currently being developed for the brake control and monitoring system on the Boeing 787. Besides its application in the general aviation market, the system is also being tailored for military aircraft.

In addition to presenting its SmartStem system, Crane Aerospace & Electronics (part of Crane Co.) is showing its proximity switches newly selected for the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300. The switches sense whether the landing gear is up or down and whether doors are open or closed.

Phenom models will be the first light and very light business jets to use Crane proximity-sensing technology. The company already supplies proximity switches for almost all Boeing and Airbus jetliners.