Honeywell has launched a new series of self-diagnosing sensors designed to improve the performance of aircraft systems and reduce maintenance costs by helping to eliminate false readings. Its integral health monitoring (IHM) proximity sensors, which detect when a sensor has been damaged or otherwise affected, can be integrated into an aircraft’s thrust reverser actuation system, flight controls, doors and landing gear, among others.
“Aircraft operators who receive a sensor reading often cannot be sure if they have a system issue that needs to be addressed or if the sensor itself is malfunctioning,” said Graham Robinson, the president of Honeywell’s Sensing and Internet of Things business. “Leveraging Honeywell’s technical expertise in the aerospace industry, we created a circuit that can detect whether a sensor reading is correct or the result of damage or some other problem with the sensor itself.”
According to Honeywell, the proximity sensors are configurable, non-contact devices designed to sense the presence or absence of a target in aircraft applications such as determining when a thrust reverser is not fully closed. The sensors can detect most internal failures and display a fault output to a pilot or maintenance technician, it said. For example, if a pilot receives a landing gear warning light during approach, the IHM proximity sensors would indicate if the error message was caused by the sensor itself rather than by an issue with the landing gear.
Honeywell has also introduced linear variable differential transformers (LVDT), which are used in engine mechanisms, pilot controls and nosewheel steering applications. Theyprovide aircraft with continuous position monitoring. The LVDT sensors are already being incorporated into Honeywell-manufactured aircraft systems and can support other component and system manufacturers.