Infrared Sensors Measure Tyre Temperature in Realtime
A team of researchers at the School of Science and Engineering at University Campus Hamilton (formerly Bell College Glasgow) is using infrared sensors to monitor the temperature of tyres on racing cars in real time around the racing track, enabling set up changes to be made on the car that lead to improved performance on the track. The research project involves the use of 12 ‘CS Series’ infrared temperature sensors from Micro-Epsilon, three on each wheel of the racing car – on the inside edge, outside edge and centre line.
Each sensor is positioned directly above the surface of the tyre, relaying temperature data back to a data logging system for further analyses. One of the attractions of the sensor is its ability to be positioned a significant distance from the tyre, due to its high resolution 10:1 optics.
In this case, the sensors are positioned 150mm from the tyre but still measure over a small (15mm) diameter surface area.
Competing sensors currently on the market measure over a much wider surface area at a distance of 150mm, which makes tyre temperature measurements very difficult to analyse, particularly if the three measuring spots on the inside edge, outside edge and centre line of the tyre cannot be distinguished from one another in the results data.
David Kennedy, Senior Lecturer at Bell College Glasgow and Head of the Research Project commented: “The research is part of the Product Design with Motorsport course here at the college. We’ve been working on racecar chassis set up for some years now, as part of the Formula Student Competition. Monitoring the temperature of tyres is clearly beneficial for race teams, particularly F1 and other Motorsport engineering teams, as it enables the performance of the car to be improved.
Traditionally, engineers would measure the temperature of the tyres after the race or test lap is completed, but this means only average rather than real time temperature readings can be analysed.