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Published: 25 November 2015

Met Office commissions novel air probe

A new probe for atmospheric research has been developed for the Met office by Surrey’s Fluid Sensor Development Initiative.

The Met Office  commissioned Surrey researchers  to produce a novel, multifunctional probe for use on one of its research aircraft to measure temperature, pressure, humidity and wind velocity. The probe will be used to calibrate the aircraft’s instruments and, therefore, had to be exceptionally small and precise.

The probe makes use of the latest technology; to keep the internal plumbing as small as possible, this was integrated into the probe structure using the latest 3-D printing technology, and the electronic systems use components originally designed for smartphones.

Whilst this probe will be certified for flight and used to collect air data, the team’s research and development has generated interest from fields as diverse as atmospheric science, Formula 1 and the medical sector.

Part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Sciences’ experimental aerodynamics research programme, the Surrey Fluid Sensor Development Initiative is led by Dr David Birch and Dr Paul Nathan.

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