Eccles, Lee H.; Boeing Commercial Airplane Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2001-10)
      Boeing Commercial Airplanes has used many methods in the past to measure the structural loads on the wings of its airplanes. The most recent approach is to use arrays of MEMS pressure sensors on the top and bottom surfaces of the wings. By knowing the difference in pressure between the top and bottom of the wings the structural loads on the wings can be calculated. It was decided that in order to build an array of 1100 sensors it would be necessary to condition the sensors and convert the analog output to a digital form at the site of the pressure measurement. This process was taken one step further by converting the output of the A/D converter into engineering units within the sensor module as well. The array is built using a flex circuit card in one foot sections that can be interconnected to form an array of up to 125 sensors. There is a sensor location every two inches on the flex circuit but not all locations are populated. This paper will describe not only the pressure belt but the lessons learned during the development and the implications that these lessons have for smart transducers in general.