In the realm of aviation, an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) is an important element of many modern aircraft designs, allowing for attitude information related to roll, pitch, and yaw to be offered to pilots and flight systems alike for more efficient and safe operations. While some aircraft models achieve these readings through the use of inertial measurement devices such as gyroscopes, the consistent upgrades and advancements made to AHRs over the years has allowed them to be a very beneficial option that is compatible with flight deck displays, flight controls, and other such aircraft systems.
A Ground Proximity Warning System or GPWS is a type of equipment on airplanes that warns pilots if they are at a dangerously low altitude and at risk of crashing. Consequently, their main job is to prevent what is called a “controlled flight into terrain crash” (CFIT) that is an accident in which an aircraft crashes into the ground, water, or an obstacle despite having the proper crew and conditions to fly. CFITs typically come as a result of navigational errors, pilot disorientation or fatigue, or reduced visibility due to poor weather conditions. Since the widespread implementation of the GPWS in the 1970s, CFIT incidents have become much less frequent, proving the system’s effective use in flight operations. Moreover, the use of GPWS on large aircraft has become required by law in many countries, making it an important system with which all aircraft operators should become familiar.
Roller bearings are essential components in machinery that facilitate smooth rotational motion between multiple parts. Though they are relatively inexpensive to purchase, the failure of even one of these bearings can add up to hefty costs in repairs if not used effectively. As such, it is essential to know the various factors that could cause bearing malfunction and maintain your assemblies accordingly. To learn more about these factors including how to best prevent them, read on as we discuss some key ways to safeguard your bearings from potential damage.
When operating aircraft with gas turbine engines, a starter unit is often required to help the engine attain the self-sufficient speeds necessary for standard operations. Start units come in a variety of types, and they are all considered Ground Support Equipment (GSE) as they are operated by airlines and ground handling agencies that utilize the unit during the final boarding procedures before departure. One of the most common types of unit is the air start unit (ASU), that of which may be found at most airports across the globe. In this blog, we will discuss the general design and functionality of the air start unit so that you can better understand its importance.
Stalling is a condition that no pilot wants to face, referring to an instance where an aircraft surface is not able to maintain smooth airflow, resulting in a decrease in lift. Stalls may occur through various means, and they are a hazard as they cause aircraft to sink in the atmosphere when there is not enough lift to overcome weight. While stalls are most often faced by the main wings of an aircraft, they can also occur around the tailplane. While tailplane stalls are not often discussed, they present a major threat to pilots and passengers. As such, having an understanding of how they come about, and how to recover from them, is highly important to maintaining safety across flight operations.
Radio frequency (RF) technology is an integral part of modern aviation, encompassing anything from advanced communication equipment to onboard entertainment. As RF technology is employed in many sectors of aviation, this blog will cover some of its most critical applications and how it has made air travel easier.
When working with fluid applications such as plumbing, it is paramount that ample flow management is in place to ensure that all materials move exactly how they need to through a system. One undesirable issue that may be faced in a system is backflow, that of which is when materials begin to move in the opposite direction as a result of pressure changes. While this takes away from steady performance, the backflow of substances may also lead to clogging, excess pressure, and other issues like contamination. As such, one should always take advantage of components that prevent backflow, such as a backflow preventer or check valve. While both of these devices operate on the same principle, their overall objective differs, making it important that one understands their differences and distinct applications.
Encoders are electromechanical devices that provide electrical signals for the means of speed and/or position control. More specifically, an encoder turns mechanical motion into an electrical signal that can be used by the control system to monitor specific parameters of any given application, allowing operators to make adjustments as necessary. Some of the parameters that a motor encoder can monitor include speed, distance, RPM, position, and various others. Applications that use encoders or similar monitoring technology to control specific parameters are often called closed-loop feedback or closed-loop control systems.
The continuous flow of electric current through a wire should be regulated for power distribution. Generally, transistors are key components that are used as amplifiers in regulating electric current from higher to lower levels, as well as for frequency stages, modulators, detectors, the functioning of circuits, and to switch the current from one machine to another. Electrical devices have more than one transistor in their assembly, including low, medium, and high power transistors that are used in different frequencies and voltages. Moreover, their versatility makes them a significant invention in the electrical field. This blog will discuss the different types, applications, and construction of transistors.
A printed circuit board (PCB) is a flat structure across which a circuit of electricity is conducted. PCBs generally use conductive pathways and traces created by metal sheets that allow for advanced functions to be made possible in aerospace technology. For example, NASA’s Space Shuttle designs now rely on entirely computerized phases of missions, all of which are controlled by PCBs. Since they play such a vital role in technology today, it is important to understand how PCBs operate and abide by specific rules to ensure proper operation.
Patch cords make up the housing and terminals that surround fiber optics, allowing them to transmit data safely and effectively. Their several designs allow for diverse network and cable management configurations. With several options available for purchase, it is important to understand the different types available. In this blog, we will discuss the specifications and applications of some of the most widely used fiber optic patch cords.
Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are truly ubiquitous and have helped transition our society into an advanced digital age. The displays make up the faces of many popular consumable electronic devices, including TVs, watches, computer monitors, instrument panels, and more. If you have ever been interested in how these screens produce beautiful images, this blog will tell you everything you need to know about LCDs.
Aircraft towing is a vital operation, necessitating precision so that hazardous situations do not arise. Towing is often needed for the movement of active and static aircraft on airport ramps and hangars. If you are not following proper taxiing procedures, towing aircraft can be dangerous for towing team members, potentially causing damage to the aircraft itself, and inevitably leading to flight disruptions.
The attitude indicator within an aircraft is an important instrument for flight, allowing for the pilot to remain aware of the aircraft’s orientation in relation to Earth’s horizon. Conveying rotation about the longitudinal axis and lateral axis for indicating the degree of banks and pitches respectively, attitude indicators ensure safety and the ability to maintain a set flight path. The attitude indicator relies on the rigidity characteristics of its attitude gyro, that of which is gimballed for the means of allowing rotation along lateral and longitudinal axes. Once powered, the indicator will maintain a fixed position for use.
While modern aircraft often have the tools and equipment required for instrument flight rules (IFR) for instances in which a visual reference is not safe, it can be highly beneficial to maintain sight out of the vehicle when possible. During conditions such as heavy rain, beadlets of water can gather up on surfaces, possibly obstructing the pilot’s view outside of the windshields. To remedy such issues, aircraft feature various forms of windshield wipers and systems.
A crystal oscillator is a component that is capable of generating an electric signal through the use of a frequency, often being employed for the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material. Found in applications ranging from wristwatches to digital integrated circuit assemblies, crystal oscillators may be used for maintaining timing, providing a stable clock signal, and more. In this blog, we will discuss crystal oscillators and their functionality, allowing you to better understand their common uses in diverse settings.
Used to display an input signal in either an analog or digital form, panel meters come in a variety of models and measurement types to suit your desired implementation needs. Often manufactured with an alarm to alert an engineer of measurements exceeding a predetermined threshold, it is mandatory for meters to remain in working order to prevent part failure or a potentially hazardous accident. As such, specialized equipment that allows panel meter data to be transferred to a computer for future reference and analysis can also be applied. Necessary for determining what measurements are currently being relayed throughout a system, they are built to read, input, and display signals. Without the use of such tools, various power systems, voltage transformers, actuators, and other devices can be negatively impacted. As they share a similar range in variable measurement capabilities, we will discuss the differences between digital and panel meters, their components, and why they are important for electrical applications.
Actuators are essential for all aircraft, serving to control doors, retractable landing gear, position engine vanes and thrust reversers, and adjust parts like the elevator, rudder, ailerons, slats, spoilers, flaps, and all other flight control surfaces. Critical for helping an aircraft remain in flight, it is essential for parts like an actuator to continuously provide reliability and integrity for improved aircraft efficiency. To better understand the importance of actuators and their role within aircraft, we will navigate through their history and how they are capable of making aircraft faster, easier to maneuver, and more cost-effective.
Electricity has radically changed how humans live, defining how many of us spend our time at home, working, and more. While highly beneficial, electricity is also a volatile force that can be dangerous if not managed properly. Safety devices are electrical equipment that are highly beneficial for electrical distribution, often implemented to ensure that faults and overload conditions are prevented from flowing freely through a power system. By stopping the flow of a fault, such equipment can mitigate damage to electrical devices, components, and individuals. The switchgear is a common part of an electrical power system, consisting of disconnect switches, fuses, circuit breaker equipment, and more. Such apparatuses are important for de-energizing equipment, isolating zones for work or for clearing faults.
While engineers will often discuss how various metals and composites are crucial for the integrity and overall functionality of an aircraft, many other materials also play large roles in standard operations and construction. Rubber in particular is a material that is beneficial to many applications due to its water resistance, heat resistance, strength, and resiliency. For aircraft in particular, rubber material components can be produced to act as adhesives, sealants, heat shields, and many other part types. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of how various natural rubber and synthetic rubber materials are used in aircraft and how their characteristics benefit such applications.
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