New Honeywell self-diagnosing sensors enhance performance, safety of aircraft systems


Honeywell announced Tuesday a new series of self-diagnosing sensors designed to improve the performance of aircraft systems and reduce maintenance costs associated with false readings.

Honeywell, provider of aerospace sensors as well as propulsion engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity services and logistics for the aerospace industry, is introducing Integral Health Monitoring (IHM) series proximity sensors that can detect when a sensor has been damaged or otherwise impacted.

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

“With our health monitoring capabilities, proximity sensors can notify engineers or operators of potential issues with a system before or after the component fails,” said Robinson. “The sensor fault-detection 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.

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.

For both new sensors, Honeywell offers design engineering support and a standard design platform in which the engineering work is performed upfront to provide an off-the-shelf solution to speed up customer design cycle times.

Honeywell sensors and switches have been used on commercial, business and military aircraft for more than 30 years and can be found in a range of applications such as engines, fuel pumps, exit doors, landing gear, cargo doors, cabin controls and auxiliary power units.

Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) provides products, software and connected solutions that improve productivity, workplace safety and asset performance. It delivers through mobile devices, software, cloud technology and automation solutions, the broadest range of personal protective equipment and gas detection technology, and custom-engineered sensors, switches and controls; while manufacturing and selling its line of footwear for work, play and outdoor activities, including XtraTuf and Muck Boot brand footwear.

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