Nord-Micro sensors part of successful X-31 VECTOR test program
PARIS, France- Europe, Jun 14, 2003
Nord-Micro, Hamilton Sundstrand’s Frankfurt-Germany-based aerospace subsidiary, played a key role in the recently concluded and successful X-31 VECTOR experimental test flight program at the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
VECTOR, which stands for Vectoring Extremely Short Take-off and Landing Control and Tailless Operational Research, is a joint Boeing-EADS Deutschland Military Aircraft project funded by the U.S. Navy and the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement.
The project concluded on April 29 of this year with an ESTOL landing at 24-degree angle of attack and with almost one-third reduced touchdown airspeed.
During test flight landings, the aircraft would approach the runway at relatively slow speeds and at a high angle of attack, with its nose pointed upward. The aircraft used thrust vectoring to maintain the control required.
Nord-Micro, as a subcontractor of EADS Deutschland, was responsible for the pressure-sensing unit in the newly developed flush air data system (FADS), a nose-mounted sensor package that provides speed, altitude, temperature and flight attitude data at angles of attack that would render most standard air data systems ineffective.
Nord-Micro said the limited space available in the front part of the radome and the exposure to delicate environmental conditions posed engineering challenges. A new generation of pressure sensors had to be developed with extremely high miniaturization and accuracy to obtain the raw data for angle of attack, angle of sideslip, altitude and Mach number.
EADS Deutschland said the Nord-Micro flush air data system rendered excellent performance during the test program, meeting all test objectives. Potential applications of the new sensor technology are manned and unmanned military aircraft as well as civilian aircraft.
Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), is headquartered in Windsor Locks, Conn., and employs about 16,500 worldwide. Among the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products, the company designs, manufactures and services aerospace systems and provides integrated systems solutions for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft. It is also a major supplier for international space programs.
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