Self-diagnosing sensors for aircraft applications released by Honeywell

FORT MILL, S.C. Officials at Honeywell released a new series of self-diagnosing sensors designed to improve the performance of aircraft systems and reduce maintenance costs associated with false readings. The Integral Health Monitoring (IHM) series proximity sensors can detect when a sensor has been damaged or otherwise impacted.

The patented proximity sensors can be designed into a range of systems such as thrust reverser actuation systems, flight controls, aircraft doors, cargo loading systems, evacuation slide locks, and landing gear.

"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," says Graham Robinson, president of 's Sensing and Internet of Things business. "With our health monitoring capabilities, proximity sensors can notify engineers or operators of potential issues with a system before or after the component fails. The sensor provides mechanics on the ground with the information they need to perform inspections and repairs without a long and costly troubleshooting process."

For example, proximity sensors in aircraft landing gear systems provide a pilot with a fault alert on landing approach to warn if the landing gear is not completely deployed. With Honeywell's health-monitoring feature, the IHM proximity sensors can indicate if the error message was caused by the sensor itself rather than an issue with the landing gear.

The proximity sensors are configurable, non-contact devices designed to sense the presence or absence of a target in harsh-duty 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 worker in order to help reduce aircraft downtime and maintenance costs.

Honeywell also introduced Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDT), which are used in engine mechanisms, pilot controls and nose-wheel steering applications, and provide next-generation aircraft with continuous position monitoring and are designed for use in harsh environments. The LVDT sensors are already being incorporated into Honeywell-manufactured aircraft systems and can support other component and system manufacturers.

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