About FT Technologies
FT Technologies specialises in the design and manufacture of ultrasonic wind sensors – also known as anemometers or air-flow sensors. What makes FT ultrasonic wind sensors unique is our use of acoustic resonance for measuring wind speed, direction and temperature.
Invented by our Executive Chairman, Dr Savvas Kapartis, and patented in 1997, Acu-Res® Technology uses an acoustic wave which is resonated inside a small cavity. A strong resonating sound wave in a small space provides a large signal that is easy to measure. Acu-Res® has a signal to noise ratio more than 40db stronger than other ultrasonic technologies.
Using Acu-Res® Technology results in a compact, easily heated sensor which operates reliably, even under extreme weather conditions. The sensor’s small size means that power is used very efficiently ensuring that the sensor can stay ice-free. Essentially, Acu-Res® sets FT sensors apart from mechanical and other ultrasonic technologies to give a more robust and reliable wind measurement solution.
Supplying the wind industry since 2002
FT Technologies was founded in 1981 and has been in business for nearly 40 years. We began selling wind sensors to the wind turbine industry in 2002. We are now the industry’s largest supplier, with the world’s top turbine manufacturers amongst our customers. With over 70% of all offshore wind turbines using an FT sensor, we are the undisputed market leader in this sector.
All the design and manufacture of our sensors is carried out by our highly skilled and creative team in our factory in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, UK. Our head office is also in Sunbury but, as 99% of our products are exported, we also have sales offices in Denmark and the USA. We use a network of distributors to supply our customers in South America and Asia, and have dedicated technical support staff in China.
Made in Britain
The wind energy industry is growing significantly, and FT is growing with it. In the last decade, we have tripled in size. We now have around 100 employees and are always looking for more high quality engineers. We continue to invest in new products and new manufacturing technology. This will enable us to better serve our existing customers in wind energy and to offer the unique strengths and advantages of our acoustic resonance wind sensors to more customers in meteorology, marine and defence.
The future is bright
FT Technologies was founded in 1981 by Peter Elgar and Derek Cavendish-Pell. The business originally concentrated on defence based research projects. In 1986, Dr Savvas Kapartis joined the company after completing his BSc and PhD in Electronics at Surrey University.
In the 1990s there was a military requirement for a wind sensor for ballistic meteorology. The problem was, it had to have no moving parts and be strong enough to operate reliably on battlefield equipment.
At that time, conventional sonic anemometers relied on time of flight measurement. This meant they were large in size, with delicate arms that could easily be damaged.
Pondering the problem on his way into work one day, Savvas was sitting at a set of traffic lights when he suddenly had an idea. What if you were to resonate an acoustic wave inside a small cavity, and measure the phase shift of the moving air on the signal bouncing between the transducers? Then, he hypothesised, you could create a small, and therefore easily heated, wind sensor with no moving parts.
Over the next few years, Savvas and his small team developed the concept of combining acoustic resonance with ultrasonics and the measurement of phase shift. They built their own 100m/s wind tunnel in house and wrote the electronics software to develop the concept into a prototype. Acu-Res® Technology was patented in 1997.
Its first product, the FT702 acoustic resonance wind sensor, went into production in 2000. This had a stainless steel body combined with other features that suited many military uses. It was sold to a wide range of wind sensing applications but it gradually became clear that the product’s robustness made it ideal for the developing wind turbine industry. The first sales were made to European manufacturers in 2002. In 2003 the innovative Acu-Res® Technology was a finalist for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious MacRobert Award.
The business developed rapidly and, today, FT Technologies supplies specially designed wind sensors, all incorporating our unique Acu-Res® Technology, for use in wind energy, defence, marine, meteorology and, most recently, in drone, sUAS and aerospace applications.
FT Technologies is founded by Peter Elgar and Derek Cavendish-Pell. Work begins on defence related electronics projects.
Dr Savvas Kapartis joins
Dr Savvas Kapartis joins the company. Employing six people, FT’s customer base includes the Ministry of Defence, the large MoD contractors and similar organisations overseas.
Wind sensor requirement
A requirement is identified for a wind sensor for ballistic meteorology. It must have no moving parts and be rugged enough to operate reliably on battlefield equipment.
Acoustic resonance anemometer invented
Dr Kapartis and his small team develop the concept of combining acoustic resonance with ultrasonics and the measurement of phase shift.
Acu-Res® Technology is patented
Dr Savvas Kapartis and his small team develop the concept of combining acoustic resonance with ultrasonics and the measurement of phase shift.
First production units of the FT702
The first version of the FT702 has a stainless steel body and is used in a wide variety of wind sensing applications but it soon becomes clear that the sensor’s design makes it ideal for the developing wind industry.
First sales to the wind turbine industry
The FT702 is trialled, validated and subsequently bought in the thousands by the world’s largest turbine manufacturers.
Acu-Res® reaches final of MacRobert Award
Aluminium body hard-anodised
The FT702’s stainless steel body is replaced by a new hard anodised aluminium design. This gives much better corrosion-resistance.
FT wins the Queen’s award for Enterprise & Sustainable Development
As the wind power industry flourishes, a business development office is established in Denmark.
New factory in Teddington
A new factory is built in Teddington to house the wind tunnel and ramp up production of the FT702 to meet the growing demand from wind turbine manufacturers.
The V22 features superior lightening and EMC protection, intelligent fast response heater control, a stronger body with better sealing and more customer-configurable parameters including an additional calibration table.
As sales to North America increase, a business development office is opened in Texas.
Testing at TechnoCentre Éolien in Canada
A five-month independent measurement campaign is conducted at the Technocentre Éolien, Quebec, Canada, to test data availability and anti-icing performance in cold climate conditions. FT sensors achieve >99.9998% data availability.
Technical representation appointed in China
FT shows its commitment to the burgeoning Chinese wind industry and its distributors by appointing a permanent Technical Support Manager based in Beijing.
FT722 and FT742 launched
The new design incorporates a series of “turbulators” that condition the air flow to deliver our highest levels of accuracy yet. The FT742 reads wind speeds up to 75m/s.
New factory and head office in Sunbury-on-Thames
In order to meet growing demand, FT moves to a brand new factory and establishes a new head office in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.
Extreme weather trial at Mount Washington, NH, USA
An FT742-DM sensor is installed at the summit of Mount Washington “home of the world’s worst weather”. The observatory’s meteorologists are so impressed with its performance, they choose it as their permanent wind sensor.
Acoustic temperature readings
Updated software means FT722 and FT742 digital sensors now read acoustic temperature as well as wind speed and direction.
FT205 lightweight sensor for drones
The first in a new generation of lightweight ultrasonic wind sensors is launched. Made from a graphite and nylon composite, the FT205 weighs only 100g.
Acu Vis 2.0 released
Acu Vis software version 2.0 makes it easier for customers to change the configurable settings on their sensor. It has a more intuitive user interface and is available in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French and Spanish as well as English.
An APQP4Wind Policy is implemented to define new quality standards throughout the entire management system, product design process, and component supply chain.
FT sensors are used all over the world, from Alaska to Zaragoza, from the north pole to the south pole. The leading supplier to the wind turbine industry, FT sensors are also used on the top of some of the world’s tallest buildings, on portable weather stations used to chase hurricanes, on armoured vehicles, on drones and in marine navigation.