TE Connectivity Previews Advanced Load Sensor for Structural Health Monitoring of Aircraft

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Emerging Technology to Give Proactive Warning on Structural Health for Commercial Flight Control Systems

TE Connectivity (TE) previewed an emerging technology at the Paris Air Show today, giving industry professionals a first look at advanced load sensors (still in development) that will serve as part of a proactive warning system for aircraft structure and ancillary systems.

Structural health monitoring is an emerging technology for the aerospace industry, driving the need for appropriate sensor systems. As part of a government-funded research project and in cooperation with an aircraft manufacture and system supplier, TE Connectivity is developing new sensor solutions to monitor the structural health (e.g., loads, wear over lifetime) of aircraft components and help provide reliable sensor signals to support the operation of a structural health monitoring system.

“TE is at the forefront in sensor development, packaging and seamless integration of sensor systems, including harnessing and interconnection solutions,” said Ulrich Hecker, global product manager, TE Connectivity, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine. “At Paris Air Show, we are giving industry professionals a sneak peek at this important developing technology, as we continue investigating and expanding new sensor technologies to meet future market needs.”

A structural health monitoring system enables the immediate detection of failure conditions, wearing and degrading of component service life. Structural health monitoring systems limit the work of unscheduled maintenance and improve the operational availability in today’s core competence around non-contact, wear-free and reliable position sensing (proximity, linear displacement and rotary position).

The new sensors will allow continuous monitoring of the loads applied to components or the airframe structure: detecting overloads, disconnects or wear in the related bearings. By offering continuous monitoring over the lifetime of an aircraft, the sensors enable more reliable service life of the overall system.

The sensor currently in development will be part of the high lift system, focused on primary and secondary flight control systems. However, further applications for the technology could include landing gear as well as other system applications. For landing gear, the load sensors would be able to show the history of hard landings and the level of wear and tear resulting from those landings to signal the optimal time to conduct preventive maintenance.

With this ability for early wear detection and pre-maintenance of aircraft structure and ancillary systems, aircraft manufacturers and system maintenance personnel will be able to help provide enhanced safety and significant costs savings to commercial airlines. Other benefits of the load sensors include their lightweight, compact form and low power consumption. They are easy to install and easy to maintain.

“Through our collaboration with OEMs early in the design phase on this important new technology, we are able to create what we think are the best solutions possible for component reliability, service life and overall aircraft performance,” added Hecker.

For more information on TE Connectivity technologies featured at the Paris Air Show, visit http://www.TE.com/ParisAirShow or contact the Product Information Center at 1-800-522-6752.

TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity (logo) are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.

About TE Connectivity
TE Connectivity is a $13 billion world leader in connectivity. The company designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. TE Connectivity’s long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity. With nearly 90,000 employees in over 50 countries, TE Connectivity makes connections the world relies on to work flawlessly every day. To connect with the company, visit: http://www.TE.com.

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Teresa Wilson
TE Connectivity
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DeAnna Halewski
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