Every spring, students from universities across the United States gather to compete with all-terrain sporting vehicles that they've spent the year designing, engineering, building, testing, and promoting. While this year's competition will be virtual due to COVID-19, in years past, inductive sensing technology has been used to optimize race vehicles.
In 2019, the Beaver Racing Baja SAE team from Oregon State University incorporated an NBB2-8GM30-E0-V1 inductive sensor from Pepperl+Fuchs into its vehicle design. The IP67-rated sensors with a nickel-plated brass housing have an extended temperature range of -40 °C ... +85 °C, which made them perfect for the tough conditions present during testing and racing. According to John Young, the team’s data acquisition technical lead, “Pepperl+Fuchs sensors are robust enough to hold up to the harsh, trying environmental conditions we experience during testing and at competitions.”
The team collected data from the inductive sensor to compare individual wheel velocities when their vehicle was traveling through a course or during parking lot testing. “The sensors provided reliable, consistent output data for our team to analyze and use to both benchmark and validate our design decisions,” says Young. The information was then used for tuning limited slip differential in the rear gearbox, tuning the continuously variable transmission clutches, and calculating the effective gear ratio of the final drive from idle to full speed.
With the help of this and other data, the Oregon State Beaver Racing Baja SAE team placed first in the 2019 Baja SAE competition at Tennessee Tech University. Young says “We will certainly continue to use these sensors on our car and are proud to display the Pepperl+Fuchs logo to our supporters and competitors.”
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