Published: 04 November 2015

Surrey fluid sensor development initiative contracted by the met office to produce a compact air data probe

The probe will be used on atmospheric research aircraft and measures temperature, pressure, humidity and wind velocity.

The MET office has commissioned the the Surrey Fluid Sensor Development Initiative to produce a novel, multifunctional probe for use on the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements’ (FAAM) research aircraft. 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 use in 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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