Active Sensors specialises in manufacturing data acquisition and control sensors for the chassis and engine used in motorsport. We have an extensive range of measurement sensors that represent leading edge technology able to withstand high g-forces, severe vibration and operate at elevated temperatures. In motor sport there is an ever-increasing need for engineers to accurately control and monitor linear and rotational movements. Active Sensors design and manufacture position sensors for use in F1, GP2, IRL, DTM, NASCAR, WRC, NHRA, MotoGP, BTCC and many other racing series. Customer specific sensors can be designed and manufactured within a rapid time frame.
A racecars throttle position sensor (TPS) is used to monitor the position of the throttle valve and is mounted on the throttle body. It converts valve position into a proportional voltage signal which is fed to the engine control unit (ECU). The sensor signal is used by the ECU to control the ignition and fuel injection timing.
Racecar handling depends on the balanced set up of the suspension. Whether the vehicle has the traditional four springs and four dampers arrangement, mono-shocks or electronically adjustable hydraulic actuators, which are used in active suspension systems, race engineers need to measure precise suspension movement.
Virtually every racecar uses a sequential shift rather than the 'H' pattern gearbox. The reason being that sequential shift is quicker and more consistent. The selector drum is rotated manually or by an electro-hydraulic actuator. In the electro-hydraulic case, the driver operates the gearshift from the steering wheel by depressing gear change buttons.
Most high performance racing car clutches are automatically operated during gear changes but are manually operated by the driver from the steering wheel when moving from a standstill at race starts and pit stops. During a race the driver executes gear changes by pushing a button on the steering wheel.
Some of the hardest working parts on a racecar are the brakes. Formula One and Endurance racing can experience high brake disc wear and race engineers need to monitor this wear by mounting a miniature linear position sensor in the brake caliper. The sensor specified in this application is the high performance contactless LVDT.
In racecar applications, pedal position sensors are used to monitor throttle and brake pedal movement or, in 'drive by wire' applications, operate the throttle via an electronically controlled actuation system. The sensor can be either rotary or linear in operation and is mounted with the operating shaft.
The master cylinder converts the motion of the brake pedal into a hydraulic pressure that is used to operate brake caliper movement. It consists of the reservoir, which contains the brake fluid, and the piston and cylinder that generate the hydraulic pressure. Traditionally, racecars use two master cylinders that are side by side being applied at the same time (dual).
Brake balance systems in racecars are often adjusted remotely. The driver adjusts the bias between the front and rear brake systems from the cockpit depending on the ever-changing track and tyre conditions. Correct brake balance allows the driver to brake later and heavier into corners, which helps to reduce lap times.
Steering-angle position sensors measure steering wheel movement and are usually mounted on the steering column (rotary sensor) or the steering rack (linear sensor). The steering angle information is important to race engineer's to evaluate the vehicles steering characteristics verses chassis movement and also driver performance.