Optical Air Data System for Next Generation Aircraft

Ophir Corporation’s Optical Air Data System offers an augmentation or replacement of conventional air data sensors providing all weather performance, enhanced safety and reliability, potential reduction of aircraft program costs and operator’s life cycle costs. In the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel, the Ophir System continued measuring velocity even when Pitot tubes failed!

A key attribute of Ophir’s Optical Air Data System is that it is capable of successfully measuring air data parameters in conditions of both high aerosol environments (as found in the boundary layer close to the ground, in fog and rain conditions), as well as at low to no aerosol environments such as found at commercial aircraft operational altitudes and in trans-oceanic flights. 

Demonstration of both Short-range and Long-range Optical Air Data Systems

Ophir has successfully demonstrated an Optical Air Data System that measures True Airspeed, Angle-of-Attack, Angle-of Sideslip, Temperature and Pressure on a commercial transport aircraft. The sensor has over 140 flight test hours and has measured these parameters from take-off to 47,000 feet, from 0 to 550 knots, and also in low and high aerosol environments – all with 100% data availability and no data dropouts. Ophir’s Optical Air Data System flight test demonstrations have shown that cloud and solar saturation – including inside cloud, solar backlit cloud and direct solar saturation - minimally impact sensor measurement accuracy.

In addition to measuring air data parameters close to the aircraft, Ophir has also flight tested a multi-function, long-range, Optical Air Data System on a Falcon aircraft measuring turbulence ahead of the aircraft, as well as air data parameters close to the aircraft.