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Sensors and Instrumentation

Tao Systems develops real-time sensor systems measuring several different variables including heat transfer, pressure, and strain. We are experienced in developing and testing new sensors, and in improving the performance of existing sensors.

Miniature Constant Voltage Anemometer (CVA) for the Low Airspeed Sensor (LAS)Our primary focus was in maturing sensors that work only in wind tunnels or controlled environments to sensors that are robust enough for flight operation. The difficulty in moving from the laboratory to flight is handling the numerous environmental variables that adversely affect and consequently limit the signal such as electromagnetic interference (EMI). Tao Systems has developed several fundamental electronic innovations that significantly reduce the impact of noise while significantly improving the signal. This innovation allows us to explore sensor solutions that were previously unfeasible using conventional technology.

New Sensor DevelopmentLow Airspeed Sensor (LAS)

Over the years, Tao Systems has developed several new sensors for aerodynamic applications for various clients. One example is the Low Airspeed Sensor (LAS) for helicopters developed for US Navy. Conventional airspeed sensors, e.g. pitot-static systems, cannot measure airspeed in the safety critical regime, below 30 knots, accurately. We moved from feasibility studies to research design to an in-house prototype to successful flight testing of the LAS. The end result is a product that far surpasses the specifications.

Shock Location Sensor (SLS)Another example is the real-time shock location sensor (SLS) developed for NASA. There are no real-time sensors for measuring the location and intensity of shock impingement for aircraft performance and safety. Tao Systems found a feasible solution, performed theoretical and experimental studies, created a prototype, and conducted a successful flight test of the sensor system for our client.

There are several other examples of new sensor developments, a few of which are listed below:

  • angle of attack and sideslip sensors
  • air flow vector sensor
  • shear stress sensor

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Sensor Advancement

Tao Systems has significant experience in improving the performance of existing sensors. Through innovative electrical engineering, Tao Systems takes existing sensors and significantly enhances the signal characteristics while reducing the noise and eliminating the complexities of conventional sensor electronics.

One example is the HW-CVA instrumentation developed for NASA for measuring velocity and temperature fluctuations. Existing instrumentation have signal, noise, bandwidth and temperature issues that substantially limit its performance and its use to primarily laboratory settings. By redesigning the circuit, Tao Systems provides the client with a solution that has much higher sensitivity and larger bandwidth while significantly reducing the impact of issues that plague conventional systems.

Another example is developing a strain gage system that has high sensitivity and yet is not limited by cable type and length and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Again, Tao Systems redesigned the circuit according to these requirements with at least an order of magnitude increase in sensitivity and created a replacement that can be used in place of the conventional system.

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