Pressure element of constant logarithmic stiffness for temperature compensated altimeter

Brombacher, W G Cordero, F

The usual type of altimeter contains a pressure element, the deflections of which are approximately proportional to pressure changes. An evenly divided altitude scale is secured by using a mechanism between the pressure element and pointer which gives the required motion of the pointer. A temperature-compensated altimeter was constructed at the Bureau of Standards for the Bureau of Aeronautics of the Navy Department which contained a manually operated device for controlling the multiplication of the mechanism to the extent necessary for temperature compensation. The introduction of this device made it difficult to adjust the multiplying mechanism to fit an evenly divided altitude scale. To meet this difficulty a pressure element was designed and constructed which gave deflections which were proportional to altitude; that is, to the logarithm of the pressure. The element consisted of a metal bellows of the sylphon type coupled to an internal helical spring which was designed so as to have a variable number of active coils. This report presents a description of and laboratory data relating to the special pressure element for the altimeter. In addition equations which apply generally to springs and pressure elements of constant logarithmic stiffness are developed, including the deflection and the spacing between the coils in terms of the constants of the helical spring and pressure elements. (author)

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