Temperature detection is indispensable for any type of temperature control application. Within an advanced system, temperature detection circuits read and record ambient temperatures, which are the baseline temperatures of objects or environments. Depending on the complexity of the detection circuit, they can even gauge and notify when temperature control occurs. With temperature sensors, there are four common types to be familiar with that we will discuss below.


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An airplane global positioning system (GPS) is currently the most efficient, economical, and time prioritized way to navigate the skies. Created in 1973 by the Department of Defense, this global satellite navigation system provides time information and geolocation to GPS receivers worldwide. Utilizing motion sensors, rotation sensors and a computer to calculate velocity, position, and even the orientation of an object in motion (without external references). Radio aid is then used to send navigation signals, GPS data and inertial reference system information to the Flight Management System (FMS) or Black Box of an aircraft. The FMS itself has its own built-in navigation aids, airways needed for the route, and a complete database of airports. Once an optimal route is determined the proposed route is sent to the Air Route Traffic Center for analysis to determine if the current air traffic can accommodate the route. The approval of a route by the Air Route Traffic Center is then relayed to the pilot during pre-flight take-off for final route confirmation.


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When you hear the term ‘flight controls’ you may picture the interior of the cockpit and the myriad of buttons and switches the pilot and co-pilot have at their disposal. However, these are in fact the flight instruments. The flight controls are surfaces on the exterior of the aircraft controlled by the instruments. Flight controls are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary flight controls are used to safely control the aircraft during flight and include the ailerons, elevators or stabilator, and rudder. Secondary flight controls consist of slats, flaps, spoilers, trim systems, and other high lift devices.


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Historically, the relay has been used as a means to transmit and receive information. Its earliest application was for contact through Morse code, an encoded system of telecommunication wherein letters and numbers are communicated through a standardized set of signals. Relays have many different classifications, but a standard relay is typically made of electromagnets and operates as a switch. The principal function of a relay is to open or close circuits electromechanically. They are more commonly used to control smaller currents and are not usually found in power consuming devices aside from small motors.


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The attitude indicator (AI), also known as the artificial horizon, is an important flight instrument found in every aircraft. The AI helps the pilot maintain awareness of the aircraft’s position relative to the Earth’s horizon. It is particularly useful in times of inclement weather or other instrument meteorological conditions - conditions which require pilots to fly primarily or completely by the use of their instruments because of lack of visibility.


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Even the tiniest malfunction or failure in an aircraft’s window structure can be dangerous for the passengers and crew of the aircraft. Therefore, aircraft windows are just as tightly regulated as the rest of the airframe. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Advisory Circular 25.775-1 states that aircraft windows must undergo the same level of strength and resilience testing as other parts of the fuselage, like the wings and engines.


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Microcontrollers are electronic devices that are part of the microcomputer family. Fabricated with VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) technology, microcontrollers are available in 4 bit, 8 bit, and all the way up to 64 and 128 bit options. Microcontrollers can be found in almost every electronic application imaginable, ranging from home applications to traffic lights, from office tools to children’s toys.


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Aircraft longevity is crucial to the aerospace industry. Even though maintenance may seem daunting, pilots should be paying close attention to flight hours and overall operations to keep the plane running for the unforeseeable future. In this article, we will be covering important steps of maintenance.


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Aircraft communication systems, navigation components, and data devices all rely on the functioning capabilities of antennae. Without the existence of antennas, aircraft would have a much harder time functioning. Modern aircraft such as the Boeing 787 are constructed with more than 20 antennae that extend from the fuselage, cockpit, wings, and tail. Aircraft are becoming more interconnected with advancements in technology, specifically, antennas.


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The complexity of aircraft hydraulic systems depends heavily on the functions it needs to perform. In smaller planes, hydraulics are used to operate constant-speed propellers, landing gear, and wheel brakes. On larger planes, the systems tend to be more complex as they are used to operate flight control surfaces, spoilers, wing flaps, brakes, and other flight critical functionality. The principles of hydraulics are based on Pascal’s law—pressure exerted anywhere in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted equally, in all directions throughout the fluid, such that the pressure ratio remains constant.


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