The full-time digital stall sensing system better escorts flight safety

Aerospace technology is an important yardstick for the comprehensive strength of national science and technology, industry and so on. With the rapid development of China’s aviation manufacturing industry, the demand for sensing flight parameters of various emerging aircraft is becoming more and more strong, which has also become a huge opportunity for the development of the flight parameter sensor industry with independent intellectual property rights.

Recently, researchers Xu Zijie and Cao Nanying of the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Systems of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a new self-propelled aircraft stall sensing monitoring system, which can monitor the degree of airflow separation of the wing surface of fixed-wing aircraft in situ in real time, and provide stall warning, stall degree analysis and flight status correction prompt data for aircraft operators. On May 16, the study was published in Nature Communications.

DATSS system. Photo courtesy of interviewee

Flight parameters are the basis and guarantee for safe flight, and also the basis for correct operation by pilots. For example, aircraft stall (insufficient lift of the wing due to inclination, air currents, etc., bumps, dives or even loss of control, etc.) sensing systems play an indispensable role in flight safety. In the history of aviation, flight safety accidents due to stalls account for the highest proportion of all flight accidents. In 2018 and 2019, Boeing 737-MAX8 airliners suffered two crashes caused by faulty stall sensing systems, killing a total of 346 passengers.

“The accuracy of stall sensing systems has always been a concern in the aviation industry.” Dr. Xu Zijie of the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Systems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Science News, “Among the existing stall sensing schemes with a high degree of commercialization, there are still indirect in-situ monitoring of wind beacon angle of attack sensing and differential pressure sensing, and the back-end algorithm is complex. The current lead method (a stall sensing method) used to observe the turbulence of airfoils also has the disadvantage that it cannot quantify turbulence velocity digitally. At the same time, the large volume and mass also make it difficult to be applied to emerging multi-functional UAVs and other fields. ”

In order to solve these pain points, the joint team developed a new stall sensing system (DATSS) that is self-propelled lightweight and monitors the degree of airflow separation in situ based on the previous accumulation in the fields of self-drive sensing, self-drive intelligent monitoring, and intelligent input devices.

Schematic diagram of the working principle of the DATSS system. Photo courtesy of interviewee

The reviewers of the paper believe that the system can realize the digitization, visualization and array perception of stall monitoring. At the same time, according to the characteristics of the sensing system, the researchers independently developed a small micro-processing system to analyze the sensing data without delay, which can realize the direct method of in-situ early warning and unwinding of the occurrence of aircraft stall.

At present, the DATSS system has passed wind tunnel testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, small UAV test demonstration, and completed the actual flight test of the manned Cessna C172S aircraft. In the actual flight test, the early warning and depth judgment of the stall of the aircraft at the large angle of attack were successfully completed. Academician Wang Zhonglin of the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Systems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “In the future, the system will play an important role in domestic aircraft stall sensing solutions.” (Source: Zhang Shuanghu, China Science News)

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