Aerospace & Defense Sensors

Overheating and over pressurization are two factors that can eventually lead to total component failure in aerospace and defense equipment. That’s why equipment systems need sensors. Ultimately, it is the quality of sensors within equipment systems that is key in preventing overheating, over pressurization, and other costly catastrophes.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the aerospace and defense sensors we offer at Hi-Watt, and how to select the right one for your equipment.


Thermocouples are one of the most common types of aerospace and defense temperature sensors. They are designed to readily adapt to the harshest environments, fluctuating temperatures, vibrations, and electromagnetic interference. Thermocouples can also be used with protection tubes or thermowells, or applied to direct process insertion operations.

Out of the eight primary types of thermocouples, the J-type and the K-type remain the most popular across the aerospace and defense industries. Referred to as base metal thermocouples, the J-and K-types offer heightened sensitivity to temperature and resist vibrational revisions.

Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD)

In addition to thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) are also another sensor that’s frequently used in aerospace and defense applications. Although thermocouples can withstand extreme temperatures better than RTDs, RTDs offer more speed and accuracy, especially when it comes to monitoring internal temperatures of high-speed aircraft.

RTDs are most commonly made with platinum, copper, or nickel wiring. Platinum RTDs are better suited for hot applications, while copper is better for colder environments. Nickel defense sensors can measure between -80 and 260 degrees Celsius, and typically offer better corrosion resistance when compared to coppers.

Lastly, there are three major RTD configurations: thin-film, coiled element, and wire-wound. If you’re not sure which type of wiring or configuration is best for your application, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experts.

Pressure Sensors

linear transducer sensor on a white background

Next, pressure sensors, or pressure transducers, convert PSI readings into voltage/current signals. It allows for easy monitoring of static gases, liquids, and wet/dry mediums. In the aerospace and defense industries, pressure sensors are used to measure:

  • Landing Gear Pressure
  • Hydraulics Differential Pressure
  • Engine Bleed Pressure
  • Hydraulic Accumulator Pressure
  • Pump Inlet/Outlet Pressure
  • Oxidizer Pressure
  • Helium Tank Pressure
  • Thrust Chamber Pressure
  • Fuel Tank Pressure
  • Gearbox Oil Pressure

Data Loggers

Temperature Data Logging Recorder

Lastly, data loggers measure temperature and humidity in aerospace and defense equipment systems at preset intervals. Data is then stored in memory where it can be accessed via software. Each data point is time-date stamped, with multiple data points viewable as PDF reports, graphs, or a simple data file. This data can then be used to improve production processes and product quality.

Learn More from Hi-Watt Today

Whether you’re looking for a data logger or thermocouples, Hi-Watt has you covered. Founded over 43 years ago, we’re a trusted global supplier of aerospace and defense sensors from top brands like Watlow. You can view our complete line of products here. If you need help selecting the right sensor for your application, fill out our online form today, and a team member will be in touch with you shortly.