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Advanced Air-Data Equipment for Airliners


The overall objective of ADELINE is to identify technologies enabling the further development of innovative, fully European air data systems for implementation on new transport aircraft around 2007.

Project objectives

The objectives of ADELINE are to increase aircraft safety by reducing the possibility of air data system failure, to develop simpler, more reliable and safer air data equipment, to decrease direct possession costs of present air data systems, and to make a step change in air data system reliability, fault detection and susceptibility to blockage by foreign objects. The reliability will be increased by the use of innovative measuring systems with a better resistance to external hazards, new materials and coatings for the probes to increase abrasive resistance, and to increase lifetime and maintain constant lifetime performance, new de- and anti-icing technologies using new innovative heating elements and a new auto test for the pressure sensor to detect erroneous information. The cost of the system will be lowered due to the reduction of the number of parts per probe, integration of the sensors in the probes with innovative packaging, which will allow the elimination of all pneumatic tubing and connections. The use of self-regulated PTC heaters remaining at a constant temperature will allow the elimination of the expensive Probe Heater Computer.

Description of the work

The requirements for new air data systems will be defined in terms of safety, reliability, fault tolerance, operational performance, installation and maintenance. The typical architectures used by the main manufacturers in this field will be analysed in terms of these criteria.

New measurement principles for aerodynamic probes will be researched in order to reduce their sensitivity to the external environment. Candidate materials, coatings and manufacturing technologies, which could be used to improve corrosion resistance and decrease cost, will be identified. Potential technologies for probe anti –icing and de-icing will then be identified. Innovative ways to integrate additional functionality into the housing of the MEMS pressure sensor will then be researched.

Laboratory mock-ups will be tested in a dry wind tunnel in order to validate their aerodynamic shape and the new measurement principles. Existing MEMS pressure sensors will be modified to include the self-test principle to evaluate the sensitivity and the repeatability of the auto test. Other mock-ups will be tested under corrosive conditions to evaluate the most suitable cast material, casting technology, coating material and coating technology.

Two functional mocks-up will be tested in dry wind tunnel and icing conditions to evaluate their compliance with the requirements of the equipment specifications. The tests will be divided in two categories: metrological tests and environmental tests. Accelerated lifetime tests will be performed and the mock-ups will be also tested in flight conditions.

Expected results

ADELINE will help provide a better knowledge of existing air data architectures and their shortcomings in order to propose better-adapted, more reliable and cheaper air data equipment to aircraft manufacturers in the future. Thanks to the consortium skills, ADELINE will also permit the identification of emerging measurement techniques, materials, ceramics, coatings and packaging techniques, which will allow improved resistance to wear and corrosion of probes, ensure a more efficient way to de-ice probes with no overheating risk and decrease the overall cost of air data architectures by reducing the number of units.