Three-Dimensional Venturi Sensor for Measuring Extreme Winds
- Created: Monday, 01 September 2003
Advantageous features include ruggedness, rapid response, and high dynamic range.
A three-dimensional (3D) Venturi sensor is being developed as a compact, rugged means of measuring wind vectors having magnitudes of as much as 300 mph (134 m/s). This sensor also incorporates auxiliary sensors for measuring temperature from -40 to +120 °F (-40 to +49 °C), relative humidity from 0 to 100 percent, and atmospheric pressure from 846 to 1,084 millibar (85 to 108 kPa).
In contrast, the novel 3D Venturi sensor is less vulnerable to wind damage because of its smaller profile and ruggedness. Since the sensor has no moving parts, it provides increased reliability and lower maintenance costs. It has faster response and recovery times to changing wind conditions than traditional systems. In addition, it offers wide dynamic range and is expected to be relatively insensitive to rain and acoustic energy.
The 3D Venturi sensor has smart software algorithms to map the wind pressure exerted on the surfaces of the design. Using Bernoulli's equation, the speed of the wind is calculated from the differences among the pressure readings at the various ports. The direction of the wind is calculated from the spatial distribution and magnitude of the pressure readings. All of the pressure port sizes and locations have been optimized to minimize measurement errors and to reside in areas demonstrating a stable pressure reading proportional to the velocity range.
This work was done by Jan A. Zysko, Jose M. Perotti, and Christopher Amis of Kennedy Space Center and John Randazzo, Norman Blalock, and Anthony Eckhoff of Dynacs, Inc. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Physical Sciences category. KSC-12435.