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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

1) DEVICE Name: Pitot Tube


The Pitot - static tube is used to measure the velocity of the object the Pitot tube
is attached to, through a fluid. For most applications that fluid is air and for this the
project that is also the case.
A pitot tube works by measuring the Total or Stagnation Pressure, P o, which is
measure at a hole pointing into the flow that creates a stagnation point; and the Static
Pressure, P, measure through a port that is perpendicular to a given flow. The operational
range of a pitot tube and especially for this project, the Bernoulli Equation (Eq 1.) can be
used to calculate the velocity of the craft from the measured Total and Static pressures
from the Pitot tube.

1
Po=P static + V 2
2
Eq 1. Bernoulli equation to calculate velocity, V

In most pitot tubes today, there is temperature compensation. This means that the
Pitot tube is measuring the Static Temperature of the flow through the static pressure port.
With most applications and this project the working fluid is air and that can be considered
an ideal gas, therefore the ideal gas equation (Eq. 2) can be used to find the density. This
density can then be used in the Bernoulli equation the find velocity.

Pstatic
RT

Eq 2. Ideal Gas Equation to find density,

The Pitot tube is important because it provides the pilot or the control system
with the important measurement of velocity. The velocity measurement is important
because the pilot or the control system needs velocity to help them navigate, find aero
coefficients that are dependent on velocity, for example coefficient of Drag and Lift, for
the control system, flight times (e.g. ETA or time to a waypoint), and fuel consumption.

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

This makes the Pitot tube an important part of this project because it will be one of the
important sensors that will help make this UAV autonomous.

2) Design Specification:

The main requirement that is expected out of the Pitot tube is velocity, whether it
is velocity or a voltage that can be converted to a velocity. The next set of design
requirements involves physical attributes, power requirements, and inputs. The design
requirements for a suitable pitot tube are as follows:
1. Weight 1 oz. or less

2. Smaller than 1 x 1 x 1 for a chip and no longer than 6 for pitot3.


4.
5.
6.
7.

tube
Capable of measuring both static and dynamic pressure
Measure Speeds from 0 to 100 mph
Resolution of 1 mph
Input voltage of 3.3V
Sample rate of no less than 1 sample/second

These design specs (1, 2, 4) came from the customer (Airframe B, P09232) in
which the sensors had to be light and small, so as to leave more room and weight for the
payload that the UAV is to carry. Some of them also can from the MCU (Microcontroller
Unit), which uses 3.3V (6). Other design specs (3, 5, 7) were set by the team thinking
from the point of view of the control systems team; in this case the MAV Controls team
was consulted, P09122.

3) Pugh Analysis:

After the different types of sensors were laid out as to what was needed to
fly a UAV, each member picked and then researched that sensor. In regards to the
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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

pitot-tube, there were three pitot-tubes that fit the bill of being capable of meeting
the customer needs. These three pitot-tubes are, in no particular order: 1) Eagle
Tree Systems Airspeed Microsensor; 2) Eagle Tree Systems Airspeed Microsensor
w/ eLogger; and 3) Space Age Control Pitot-Tube 300933.
The first step in the Pugh Analysis is the Concept Screening Matrix. The
selection criteria in the Concept Screening Matrix was based on what the team as
a whole felt was most important to accomplish the customers needs, along with
one or two extra selection criterias that were important to that individual sensor.
For the pitot-tube, the individual sensor selection criterias are Airspeed, Live
Data, and Calibration. Using the standard Eagle Tree Systems Airspeed
Microsensor as the reference, each sensor was given a +, 0, or -, depending
on how it measured up to the reference sensor. After this was completed, the
Space Age control pitot-tube was dropped and the two Eagle Tree Systems
Airspeed Microsensors moved on to the Concept Selection Matrix. The main
reason that the Space Age Control Pitot-tube did not move on was the fact that
this was just a shell of a Pitot-tube. To make this a functioning Pitot-tube, pressure
transducers, temperature transducers, tubing and wiring would be needed and
bought separately. This greatly increased the cost, as a single pressure transducer
was more expensive than the Eagle Tree Systems Airspeed Microsensor.
In the Concept Selection Matrix, the same selection criteria were used
along with the individual selection criteria for each individual sensor. The
difference is that in the Concept Selection Matrix, a percentage out of 100% is
given to each selection criteria. These percentages were discussed and decided

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

upon as a team. Then each sensor was rated, 1 through 5 on each selection criteria
and then weighted according to the percentage assigned to that selection criteria.
Once each selection criteria was weighted, they were added up and the sensor
with the highest score was chosen. The sensor that was on top was the Eagle Tree
Systems Airspeed Microsensor w/ eLogger. The reason that the other Eagle Tree
System was not picked was mainly that the two Eagle Tree Systems are the same
Airspeed Microsensor which only measures max velocity. With the addition of the
eLogger, the capability of the Airspeed Microsensor is greatly increased because
the eLogger with the software packaged with eLogger, allows the storage and
analysis of data, along with real time telemetry.
The Eagle Tree Systems Airspeed Microsensor w/ eLogger is the best
system because it is ready to go out of the box, directly outputs velocity, is able to
store and analyze data, real time telemetry capability, very small and very light. It
is also a complete kit which helps with troubling shooting and interfacing issues.

4) Components Specification:
In the appendix there are more detailed specs as to what the eLogger and
Airspeed Indicator can handle, how they work, and what they output. To use the
Airspeed Indicator and the eLogger, all that needs to be done is to simply connect
them together as shown in the manuals. From the Pitot-Tube, there is a Static port
and a Pressure port. Using the tubing that came with the kit, the Static Port is
connected to the minus sign on the Airspeed chip and the Pressure port is

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

connected to the plus sign on the Airspeed chip. Then the chip can just be directly
connected to the eLogger following the pattern displayed on the eLogger.
Once this is done the eLogger can be connected to the planes battery for
standalone power or connected to a computer with the eLogger software by USB.
When the eLogger is connected directly to a computer, live telemetry can be
viewed while the eLogger still records data. The Airspeed chip itself directly
output velocity to the eLogger and the eLogger records data anywhere from 1-10
samples a second depending on what the user desires.
Mounting is simply done with a clamp to hold the Pitot-tube and the
Airspeed chip and eLogger can be placed on small plates that can be placed where
they are needed.
To use this device, simply power the eLogger through the planes battery
or a computer. This device is not sensitive to anything, vibration, EMF, or
temperature. Plus this device never has to be calibrated before each test. With the
temperature measurement that the Airspeed chip takes, the airspeed is calibrated
for the current local atmospheric conditions. In terms of maintenance and cost,
there is no maintenance that needs to be done for this device and if it breaks, the
best course of action would be to by a new system since it is already fairly
inexpensive.

5) Test Plan:

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

There are four tests planned to test and verify that the Eagle Tree Systems
Pitot-tube works as claimed and is accurate.

Test #1
Wind Tunnel Test of ETS Pitot-Tube in small and large wind tunnel at
RIT. This will be done against a hot wire probe, pressure transducers, and/or and
anemometer. This test will help to verify that ETS Pitot-tube is accurate; can hold
a steady velocity reading without outside noise, like wind; and find the lower limit
of the Pitot-tube, ETS claims 2 mph. This test will be done against observations
not time.

Test #2
Car test of ETS Pitot-tube against anemometer. This test will help to see
the Pitot-tubes delay through live telemetry, also how the Pitot-tube is across
changing speeds and higher speeds, along with the addition of possible winds,
angle of attacks and side slip angles to check that the Pitot-tube will work with
these angles. This will be done on a car with the Pitot-tube pointing forward
directly into the flow, along with the anemometer. Both will be fixed to the
outside of the vehicle. One person will drive and call out when to record, while
one person records the live data off of the computer with the ETS system attached
while another person records the data off of the anemometer. This test will also be
against observations not time.

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

Test #3
This test is a time delay test. With a certain length of tubing there is going
to be a certain time delay as the column of air in the tubing changes and that
change is picked up by the Airspeed chip. It is important to determine this time
delay to know how much tubing can be used to achieve a reasonable time delay.
This is also important for the future knowledge of the Controls Team so they can
account for or if necessary, change the length of the tubing to achieve a desired
and acceptable time delay.

Test #4
This will be the final test and will take place in Airframe A. This is an
integration test of all the sensors that will be placed in the Sensor Box.

6) Test Results:
Test #1 Small Wind Tunnel at RIT
This wind tunnel can only go up to 5 mph. This was perfect to test the
lower limits of the Pitot-tube. The benchmark for this test was the anemometer.
Table 1 shows the results of this test.
Anemometer
m/s
mph
1
2.2
1.3
2.86
1.5
3.3
2.
4.4
Table 1 Small wind tunnel results.

ETS Pitot-Tube
mph
0~2
1~3
3~4
4

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Jimmy Hunt

Pitot Tube

P09233
Airframe Measurements

When the speed was below about 5mph, the Pitot-tube was having
troubling making a consistent reading. This is most likely due to the fact that to
Pitot-tube is reaching a stall point and cannot accurately read the velocity. This is
not a problem due to the fact that if the plane is flying this slowly, it has already
stalled and will nosedive and pick up speed above this level. However this test
does confirm that the lower limit is 2 mph 1mph as claimed by ETS.

7) Final Design:

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