Extreme pressure sensor: Rocket motor testing proves toughness

Pressure transmitters stand up to exceptionally difficult environments.
By Control Engineering Staff April 17, 2008

If a pressure sensor can stand up to the violent spikes and vibration of rocket motor testing, it will probably handle whatever you can dish out. The ICP sensors designed for PCB Piezotronics aerospace and defense division are now available for industrial applications.

The PCB Piezotronics 106, 116, 122, 123 and 124 series of dynamic ICP pressure sensors are designed expressly for measurement of combustion instability and high intensity acoustics in rocket motors. The rugged, hermetically sealed, piezoelectric pressure sensors are structured with acceleration-compensated quartz sensing elements and detect rapid pressure transients, pulsations, turbulence, noise, and spikes.

If you don’t normally need to measure pressure in rockets, jet engines, or artillery pieces, there are other applications with heavy vibration and violent transients. Hydraulic and pneumatic systems, compressors, turbines, pumps, and pipelines can also be hard on sensors.

These devices monitor dynamic pressures while subjected to high static background pressure, with on- board electronics to provide a conditioned output signal. Three configurations are available with helium bleed, helium bleed and water cooling, and water cooling only. Helium bleed protects the quartz sensor from intense heat, and increases frequency response of the recess gas passage. Water cooling allows for maximum thermal stability and extends sensor operating temperature.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly
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