May 17, 2011

Etegent Awarded Navy Grant to Develop Pressure Transducer for Propulsion Control Systems


Etegent Technologies Ltd. today announced that the U.S. Navy has awarded the company a $750,000 grant to develop a robust pressure transducer for propulsion control systems. The new genre of sensing technology will enable the Navy to measure pressure at locations within the aircraft turbine engines that had been previously impossible. The ability to measure conditions within the engines, where temperatures can exceed 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, will enhance controls and diagnostics, which will improve engine performance and reliability.

Current sensors in the compressor have extremely limited life and current approaches, which are deployed "on wing," use a technique of inferring pressures based upon upstream information. These sensors are error-prone and do not provide enough resolution and bandwidth required for the ideal engine control strategy.  The use of more accurate direct pressure measurements enables engine designers to use more robust control strategies, which have the potential to increase performance while lowering emissions and improving fuel economy.

“Currently, the military is unable to accurately measure pressure conditions within certain areas of aircraft turbine engines, simply because there is not a solution that can withstand the extreme temperature and vibration conditions,” said Stuart Shelley, principal at Etegent Technologies. “In reality, because pressure cannot be measured accurately, engine manufacturers have to overdesign and increase margin to the engine; making them bigger than they need to be. Our pressure transducer technology will not only help improve engine performance and reliability, it will provide the diagnostics that manufacturers can use to improve their engine designs.”

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