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Acoustic Reflectometry for Pitot Tube Blockage Detection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-338
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Volume55
Issue number1
Early online date29 Aug 2017
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Jul 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2017
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2018

Abstract

Experimental and numerical acoustic results for Pitot tubes are presented to explore the theoretical basis for an acoustic blockage detection system. Three Pitot-statics from two different commercial aircraft were CT scanned to determine their internal geometry, and a finite element acoustic study was performed to determine the variation between blocked and unblocked reflected acoustic waves when subjected to a sinusoidal input. To validate this, supporting experiments were conducted on the same tubes when subjected to a range of blockage types, including tape, pre-deceased insects, foam, and metal. Experimental and numerical results confirm acoustic detection of all tested blockages is feasible in a quiet environment, for both the total and static pressure measurements, but only if the pressure line forms a clean waveguide along its length. The frequency range for detection is specific to each of the two Pitot designs, but a common feature is that the blocked/unblocked variation diminishes as frequency is raised due to an increase of impedance with frequency. A current limitation of the method is that is has not yet been shown to be operable in flight.

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via AIAA at https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/1.C034453. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 19.6 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC

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