2008

Advanced Position Sensors to Aid NASA in Future Spaceflight

Silicon carbide-based position sensors
INPROX Technology Corp.
Boston, MA
617-573-5158
www.inproxtechnology.com

INPROX Technology Corp. (ITC) has entered into a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Ohio to develop advanced silicon carbide (SiC)- based position sensors aimed at potential uses in future spaceflight, turbine engine controls, and automotive engine applications. Under this SAA, high-temperature SiC electronics from NASA will be prototyped into ITC’s proprietary linear position sensor technology platform.

ITC sensor technology can be designed to operate up to 650°C, which made it an attractive selection for SiC electronics integration. Captive Field Linear Direct (CFLD) is ITC’s infinite-resolution, single-coil, ferrite-less, digital inductive position sensor that can be directly embedded into hardware. The sensor provides a read-only digital signal using a real-time, continuous, variable-frequency output without the need for signal conditioning electronics. This technology would reduce weight, eliminate thermal management systems and cable runs, and improve capabilities in high-temperature, high-power, high-radiation environments.

High-temperature SiC circuitry will provide NASA with advanced electronic combustion sensing and control functions directly in hot sections of jet engines. Such electronic capabilities are needed to improve the safety and fuel efficiency of jet aircraft engines while also reducing pollution. The SAA is for one year and ITC should have the hardware and electronics finished within the year.

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