Project Code: 15056
Project Title: Performance Tools for Evaluating Microelectromechanical System Sensors
Project Type: Industry
Project Intellectual Property: Company Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: Yes
Sponsor Company: Universal Avionics
Description: Universal Avionics sometimes receives incorrect or inconsistent data from external inertial measurement and magnetic sensing units installed in its own attitude and heading reference system. The externally sourced units consist of gyros, accelerometers, and magnetometers and are classified as microelectromechanical system sensors. The sponsor has no way to test the external systems in-house and has to return them to the supplier. The team’s objective is to create a test system that enables the sponsor to validate the functionality of the external units in-house. The system design includes communication with the units via a software interface, electrical power and communication, and a mechanical test system that simulates the environment of the unit installed on an aircraft. The environmental test system can be calibrated in the pitch, roll, and yaw directions and is strapped to a cart for mobility. The roll and pitch are adjusted using a precision tilt and turntable with the sensors mounted on top of the structure. The desired yaw direction is achieved by aligning pins on the cart with the sponsor’s sight compass. Communication with the sensors is regulated via a graphical user interface and based on a custom circuit board containing three microprocessors and power regulators.