Correction of static pressure on a research aircraft in accelerated flight using differential pressure measurements
A method is described that estimates the error in the static pressure measurement on an aircraft from differential pressure measurements on the hemispherical surface of a Rosemount model 858AJ air velocity probe mounted on a boom ahead of the aircraft. The theoretical predictions for how the pressure should vary over the surface of the hemisphere, involving an unknown sensitivity parameter, leads to a set of equations that can be solved for the unknowns – angle of attack, angle of sideslip, dynamic pressure and the error in static pressure – if the sensitivity factor can be determined. The sensitivity factor was determined on the University of Wyoming King Air research aircraft by comparisons with the error measured with a carefully designed sonde towed on connecting tubing behind the aircraft – a trailing cone – and the result was shown to have a precision of about ±10 Pa over a wide range of conditions, including various altitudes, power settings, and gear and flap extensions. Under accelerated flight conditions, geometric altitude data from a combined Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) system are used to estimate acceleration effects on the error, and the algorithm is shown to predict corrections to a precision of better than ±20 Pa under those conditions. Some limiting factors affecting the precision of static pressure measurement on a research aircraft are discussed.