A leader in force sensing technology, WIKA Group in Europe is collaborating with the Liebherr Group to design and manufacture aerospace force sensors for electric actuators, which are cleaner and more fuel efficient than pressurized actuators.

Europe is serious about environmentalism. In addition to being a global leader in alternative fuels, such as liquified natural gas (LNG) in trucking and hydrogen for all types of vehicles, the continent is at the forefront of making aviation greener and more sustainable.

The Role of Force Sensors in Electric Drives

shows where force sensors can be found on airplanes

Electric drives control an aircraft’s ailerons, landing gear, and other critical components.

The European Commission’s Clean Sky Joint Undertaking is a major force behind various initiatives to make aircrafts operate more efficiently and competitively. One way to achieve this goal is to transition from hydraulic and pneumatic systems, which are heavy and energy intensive, to electric drives. These lighter, more fuel efficient systems precisely control the movements of a machine via motors, sensors, and software.

Electric drives are found in many industries, from machine building and automation to electric cars and robotics. In aviation and aerospace, such systems control and monitor an aircraft’s ailerons, landing gear, and other critical components. Force transducers are integral aspects of electric drives and, in the future, will become essential in aeronautic manufacturing.

WIKA Collaborates with Aerospace OEM on Electric Drives

Like WIKA, Liebherr is a global company headquartered in Germany that offers a range of innovative products and services. When Liebherr Aerospace sought a partner to produce specialized force sensors for its electric drives, we responded to the call.

Aerospace applications call for an even higher level of standards than land-based equipment. Products for aviation must meet extremely strict requirements, such as:

  • DO-254 – Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware
  • DO-160G – Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

WIKA drew upon its expertise in force sensor technology when designing this new product, one that would work seamlessly in the OEM’s electric drives. The innovative force sensor is currently in the testing and validation phase. By the end of 2021, we are scheduled to deliver force transducers with Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5-6, which will also serve as a robust platform for future products.

WIKA USA, Part of Your Business

WIKA is much more than a sensor manufacturer. We are dedicated to helping our customers innovate new products, find creative solutions, and operate more efficiently and sustainably. And as a global company with decades of expertise in pressure, temperature, level, force, flow, and calibration, we have the capability and know-how to deliver precisely the sensors and technologies that your systems need. Contact us for more information.

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