2.1 - Adaption of Fibre Optic Sensors and Data Processing Systems for Flight Test on a Bulldog Light Aircraft

etc2016 - 36. European Telemetry and Test Conference
2016-05-10 - 2016-05-12
Nürnberg, Germany
2. Sensors & AIM2016
N. Lawson, R. Correia, M. Partridge, S. Staines, S. James, J. Gautrey, R. Tatam - Cranfield University (U. K.)
51 - 58


Fibre optic sensors for pressure and strain measurement offer significant advances in a flight test environment as they have no local electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) restrictions, offer high spatial and temporal resolution and have a minimal footprint on surfaces or through aircraft structures. Sensors can also be distributed over large distances. Through the previous FP7 research program Advanced In-Flight Measurement 2 (AIM2), Cranfield University successfully flight tested fibre optic sensors for unsteady static pressure and surface strain measurement. An extrinsic fibre Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFFPI) was used as a pressure sensor and fibre Bragg gratings (FBGs) were used for surface strain measurement on a wing. This paper outlines the approaches taken in adapting and deploying the sensors onto a flight test platform, in this case a Scottish Aviation Bulldog light aerobatic aircraft. The nature of the certification process required the development of bespoke software and sensor packages to accommodate certifiable hardware. These systems and approaches will be outlined and data presented from flight tests in the Bulldog over a range of dynamic manoeuvres with a normal g-range of-1g to +4g, which has been extended to 6g in more recent tests.