The alpha vane (also called AoA vane) is an external probe used to measure the angle of attack. I have been trying to understand how exactly it works, but I can't find any clear explanation or simulation.
Is the vane static or dynamic i.e. does it rotate along its central axis?
Given that it has a significant surface area, I think that it would either:
- Rotate because of the force/drag exerted by the airflow, and give an angle of attack proportional or equal to its angle of rotation
- Measure the force being exerted on it via a force sensor embedded in the surface
Is either of these correct?
In short, how does an alpha vane work?