Breakthrough infra red sensor provides accurate tyre data


January 7, 2009

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January 7, 2008 With each new sensor man invents, we find a way to a greater understanding of how physics plays out in the real world. Sometimes the value of the data revealed by a new sensor gives access to is very important – this new system uses IR sensors to measure the inside temperature of an F1 tyre at all times and it will make life much easier for the thousands of race teams around the world attempting to understand what their tyres are doing on the racetrack. Tyre temperature sensors are normally fitted to the rim as part of the valve and the readings are often distorted by heat soak from the rim and brakes. The new sensor from BERU also allows race engineers to receive data remotely, even when the wheels are not fitted to a vehicle such as in dynamometer testing or other test beds. It has already been tested by F1 teams in the first winter tests and with new tyres in 2009 plus a dramatic reduction in testing and a subsequent ban on tire warmers in 2010, all F1 teams will want this … and that’s just the starting point for applying this technology.

Most significantly, the sensor from BERU f1systems provides accurate tyre temperature and pressure data unaffected by heat soak. BERU f1systems is an advanced design and manufacturing facility for vehicle wiring harness systems, tyre pressure monitoring, stress measurement and composites. The company consults or supplies components for every Formula 1 team, and every world championship winning car in every major formula (NASCAR, WTCC, Indy Car, Le Mans Series, Rally Raid etc) and its advanced services are now also being applied in military, road car, aerospace and nautical applications. Its tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) DigiTyre is used in the Lamborghini Gallardo and Murciélago, and it has been at the forefront of many engineering breakthroughs, such as its wire in composite technology.

The system was tested by F1 teams in the first winter tests as teams come to grips with tyre regulation changes aimed at reducing costs in the frightfully expensive world of F1. With some teams reportedly spending up to a billion dollars in a year during recent years (Toyota’s first year), and the leading McLaren and Ferrari teams spending in excess of US$300 a year, even the likes of Ford and Honda have withdrawn from the sport.

“With limited testing, proven data will be valuable in 2009,” says BERU f1 systems managing director John Bailey. The tyre regulation changes “will make this system more relevant as engineers seek trusted data to identify optimum tyre parameters for qualifying and race performance.”

The system offers excellent resolution (0.25ºC) and accuracy (0.5ºC) across an extended temperature range (-40 ºC to 215ºC). The wheel sensor transmits pressure, air and tyre temperature at 1Hz, via antennae to the ECU. Existing BERU f1systems’ customers can simply upgrade their existing TPMS with new wheel electronics and software. The system is also compatible with CAN bus, making it easy to integrate with existing displays.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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