Sensor-Applications of SiC

Compared to conventional techniques SiC-based sensors offer:

  • operativeness in hot areas
  • weight savings
  • increased reliability
  • increased performance
  • tolerance against radiation and chemical aggressive media
  • less cooling required due to high-temperature capability

State-of-the-art-aircraft use complex electronics and sensor systems to enhance their capabilities, i.e. for monitoring important parts of the engines that operate at high temperatures. Today's silicon-based devices cannot operate at elevated temperatures, and therefore must be shielded and kept away from hot areas. With that comes the necessity to use long wires and cable-connectors to connect electronics with the sensors. However, wiring and connector failure are crucial points that determine maintenance cycles of the engines and downtime of commercial aircraft.

High temperature silicon carbide electronics and sensors that make uncooled operation at temperatures up to 600 °C possible, would result in substantial aircraft performance gains due to weight savings and increased reliability.

SiC-based control electronics would eliminate most of the wiring and connectors needed in conventional protected aircaft control systems. This is also important for surveillance of the engines at spacecraft launching rockets.