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Oxsensis and Parker sign exclusive engine sensor deal

01 Sep 2017

Fiber-optic technology will provide active combustion control with direct pressure and temperature measurements in hot engine environments.

UK-based fiber-optic sensor maker Oxsensis has signed an exclusive contract with Parker Aerospace to develop the technology for use in aircraft engines.

The two companies will develop harsh-environment instrumentation, including static and dynamic pressure and temperature sensors for aerospace engine applications, including direct-mount sensors operating up to 1800°F that are already successfully deployed in land-based gas turbine systems.

The exclusive deal comes shortly after the two firms announced an extended collaborative effort at this summer’s Paris Air Show, and four years after an initial agreement was struck. Oxsensis has previously worked with jet engine giant Rolls-Royce and the GE sensor subsidiary Druck, and its sensors are based around miniature Fabry-Perot cavity interferometers micromachined from sapphire.

Robust success
Oxsensis says that, over the past four years, advancement of the new fiber-optic technology and subsequent prototypes made by the two companies have yielded “robust success”, combining Parker’s expertise in system integration, aero-qualification and engineering with the sensor capabilities developed by Oxsensis since its 2003 spin-out from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The sensors are aimed at compressor, combustion, and turbine applications – operating at higher temperatures and immune from electromagnetic interference.

“By combining our capabilities, together we will provide dynamic pressure and temperature data that hasn’t been available previously,” said Manuel Bajaksouzian, VP and general manager for Parker’s fluid systems division. “The challenge in providing reliable data from engine environments can be significant; however, this is a problem we are solving together.”

Oxsensis’ CEO Ian Macafee added: “We are delighted that application of Oxsensis’ optical instrumentation technology is winning its way onto airframes, with the added prospect of product realization in advanced aerospace systems. The developments are an extension of initial Oxsensis product deployments into gas turbines.”

He continued: “Oxsensis is in the vanguard of this exciting new fiber optic sensor technology, and it is particularly attractive in aircraft applications, with additional applications in the pipeline.”

Oxsensis corporate video:

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