Wonder if this inexpensive ($3) piezzo vibration/strain sensor could be used as thrust sensor inside a ducted fan housing? Or as a rudimentary speed sensor by air deflecting it with more speed? Or build it inside/on a wing for stress/deflection sensing?May be for weight sensing if it's attached to something that bends/changes position under weight?http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9198

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  • I'm fairly certain that piezo sensors do not provide a dc output, meaning they have very high rates of drift. What you want is a wheatstone bridge, by which force stretches copper wires increasing their resistance, resulting in a dc signal directly related to the force applied. The configuration recommended for a thrust sensor would be a differential pressure sensor - starting cost $1.45.

    One thing to avoid in sensing thrust is to block a good bit of it. The sensor above is pretty large relative to the ports of any RC jet thruster I can think of. Use a pitot tube.

  • It appears that this device must vibrate to produce a signal...

    I would recommend probably a flex force device attached perpendicular to the thrust of air
    inside the EDF housing. When the device is not flexed (perfectly perpendicular), then the thrust
    is zero. As the thrust increase, the wind deflects the force sensor and bends it. The device would
    then give you a rudimentary thrust measurement which could be converted to airspeed... of course
    the angle and wind speed must be take into account...

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