Aircraft & Aerospace Sensors

Space Qualified Sensors

RdF has proudly every manned U.S. space mission beginning with NASA’s earliest flights.

Thousands of RdF’s designs are currently in orbit on satellites, telescopes, and the International Space Station (ISS). Their RTD’s, Heaters, Thermocouples, Reference Junctions, and other components are qualified to the most rigorous environmental conditions, these include:

  • RTDs for Cryogenic Fuels, Rocket Nozzles, Vehicle Structures and Skins
  • Sensors and heaters for electronics
  • Sensors for re-entry shields
  • Low outgassing and low mass construction
  • Catalog Sensors with Flight Heritage
  • Proven performance in high shock, vibration and flow

Testing Instrumentation

RdF provides RTDs, Thermocouples, Heat Flux, and Thermal Sensors used on a wide range of testing in flight, on test stands and in laboratory settings.


  • Temperatures cryogenic to 480°C (900°F)
  • Probes and capsules as small as 0.066” (1.7mm) OD
  • Surface mount design with a thickness of <1.27mm (0.05”)
  • Secondary standards accuracy, NIST-traceable calibration


  • Used cryogenic to 1150°C (2100°F)
  • Probes and surface mount configurations
  • Foil TCs as thin as 13μm (0.0005”) for response in milliseconds
  • Special limits of error–types E, J, K, T

Heat Flux Sensors:

Thin Foil Gauges

  • Flexible
  • As thin as 76μm (0.003″)
  • Response time <0.1 seconds
  • Range 0-50 BTU/Ft2 sec

including Calorimeters and Radiometers

RdF Corporation is the world’s leading innovator in the design, development and production of surface, insertion and immersion temperature and heat flux sensors. Their multi-market innovations are especially important as applied in demanding aerospace and military applications. Most of the newest surface and immersion temperature sensors in use were originally introduced, engineered and manufactured by RdF.


RdF supplies sensors monitoring turbine inlet and inter-stage turbine temperature on many of the world’s aircraft. Dependable operation over thousands of starts, stops and thermal cycles demands the reliability delivered by RdF’s thermocouples and RTDs. RdF also holds FAA-PMA approvals for manufacturing sensors to the Aftermarket.

Fuels & Fluids

RdF sensors monitor temperature in fuel and main oil systems, as well as hydraulic fluid systems. Their RTD’s are installed in various assemblies including level-sensing and flow measurement. For fuel temperature applications, their sensors have been designed for line-mounting and full immersion in the tank.

Air Temperature

RdF air sensors provide accurate measurements for critical applications in environmental control systems, controlled chambers, wind tunnels, cargo bays, air intakes, heat exchangers, and exhaust flues. Configurations vary depending on system requirements, from simple sheaths to perforated sheaths, with either thermistors or RTDs covering a broad temperature range.

Transparencies & Structures

RdF’s resistance temperature sensors are integrated into the de-icing systems of commercial and military aircraft. Standard and custom components are incorporated into leading edge and rotor blade assemblies as well as various composite components use throughout the aircraft. Transparent wire-wound grids or point-sensitive RTDs are laminated into windshields and canopies with high optical clarity requirements. The stability and repeatability of RdF’s sensors mean consistent and reliable readings over the aircraft’s service life.

Cryogenic Aerospace RTDs

RdF offers a broad range of Cryogenic RTD Probes for ground support and flight. We tailor designs and qualify sensors to meet varying performance requirements and environmental conditions for each program. RdF RTDs have served on every manned US Space Mission since Project Mercury.

Cryogenic RTDs for Aerospace often have application-specific demands that are met with different design options. These particulars will vary and should be discussed with RdF to identify the right sensor. Examples of such considerations are:

• Dynamic Requirements, shock vibe and flow
• NIST Traceable Cryogenic Calibration for High Accuracy Control Points

Typical Performance RangeConstruction Features
Temperature Range-320°C to 200°C Max (-434°F to 500°F)Hermetically Sealed
Standard AccuracyTyp ±1.1°C Over Temp RangeAll-Welded Metal Construction
Special Accuracy±0.14°C at Custom CalibrationThread Mount AS5202
Pressure Rating2,500psi - 5,000psi OperatingLockwire Holes
Resistance at 32°F / 0°C100Ω, 1000Ω, 2000ΩTypical Connector D38999 or Custom
Sensor StyleFeaturesNotes
A - Straight sheath probe
A Straight sheath probe
  • Response Time 3 seconds
  • 0.25" Outer Diameter
  • 6", 12" Probe Length
  • Connection: Leads or Connector

General Use Ground Support Design
Installation with Swagelok Fitting

B - Stepped sheath probe
B - Stepped sheath probe
  • Response Time 1-2 seconds
  • 0.125" to 0.188" Tip Outer Diameter
  • Configurable Length, 2" and up
  • Process Thread Mount

General Use Design
Robust constuction, well suited for high flow measurement

C - Small diameter probe
C - Small diameter probe
  • Response Time 1 second
  • 0.093" to 0.125" Tip Outer Diameter
  • Configurable Length, Up to 2"
  • Process Thread Mount

General Use Design

D - Flat responce probe
D - Flat responce probe
  • Response Time 0.5 seconds
  • Variable Tip Outer Diameter
  • Configurable Length, from 1.5"
  • Process Thread AS5202

Available with and without Tip Shield based on flow conditions
Stainless or Inconel construction typical
Connector D38999

E - Hollow Annulus Probe
E - Hollow Annulus Probe
  • Response Time 0.3 seconds
  • 0.33" Outer Diameter
  • Configurable Length, 3" -6"
  • Process Thread AS5202

Robust constuction, well suited for high flow measurement

Calibration Capabilities

RdF maintains a NIST-traceable calibration facility to support the high accuracy requirements of our Research, Defense, Aerospace and Nuclear customer base.
For many applications, RdF recommends a standard three-point calibration at Liquid Nitrogen, 0°C and 100°C to provide reliable and repeatable measurements ±1.1°C over a wide range.
For customers with super high-accuracy sensing needs, RdF Corporation offers multipoint cryogenic calibration services and individualized Resistance v Temperature profiles in the cryogenic range for each probe. Calibration points can be customized to application-specific control points.
Using our NIST-Calibrated Cryogenic Standards, RdF’s calibration process yields RTD Probes with accuracies ±0.14°C, high interchangeability, and extremely stable, repeatable performance.

RdF Aerospace Legacy

Founded in 1955, RdF has supported space exploration since the inception of the United States Space Program. RdF sensors have served on every manned U.S. space mission since Project Mercury.
Their qualified temperature sensors are orbiting on the ISS, satellites, and telescopes, installed in ground support facilities, and monitoring critical systems on launch and crew vehicles currently in production.
Today, RdF continues to work with companies worldwide to advance the exploration of Space. To discuss your project or learn more about RdF’s Cryogenic Capabilities, please speak to one of our engineers.

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