Autonomous Electrical Current Monitoring System for Aircraft
Aircraft monitoring systems offer enhanced safety, reliability, reduced maintenance cost and improved overall flight efficiency. Advancements in wireless sensor networks (WSN) are enabling unprecedented data acquisition functionalities, but their applicability is restricted by power limitations, as batteries require replacement or recharging and wired power adds weight and detracts from the benefits of wireless technology. In this paper, an energy autonomous WSN is presented for monitoring the structural current in aircraft structures. A hybrid inductive/hall sensing concept is introduced demonstrating 0.5 A resolution, < 2% accuracy and frequency independence, for a 5 A – 100 A RMS, DC-800 Hz current and frequency range, with 35 mW active power consumption. An inductive energy harvesting power supply with magnetic flux funnelling, reactance compensation and supercapacitor storage is demonstrated to provide 0.16 mW of continuous power from the 65 μT RMS field of a 20 A RMS, 360 Hz structural current. A low-power sensor node platform with a custom multi-mode duty cycling network protocol is developed, offering cold starting network association and data acquisition/transmission functionality at 50 μW and 70 μW average power respectively. WSN level operation for 1 minute for every 8 minutes of energy harvesting is demonstrated. The proposed system offers a unique energy autonomous WSN platform for aircraft monitoring.
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
This work has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No 785495 and No 886605