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A 2-D wind sensor, based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) flow sensors, is presented. The device consists of a cylinder with a channel network connecting the internal flow sensors with the lateral surface. The pressure distribution developed by the wind on the cylinder's surface is thus converted into two air flows from which, due to the special channel configuration, wind speed and direction can be unequivocally determined. Since the MEMS devices are located in the channels, their fragile sensing structures are protected from direct exposure to the wind. Performance estimation based on literature data of pressure distributions indicates that the approach is applicable to a wide wind velocity range. The feasibility of the idea is supported by measurements performed on a prototype.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2009