Infrared sensor joins race

Motor sport engineering specialist BERU f1systems has developed an infrared sensor claimed to obtain accurate tyre temperature and pressure data unaffected by heat soak.

The company, based in Diss, Norfolk, said this is the first time a sensor has used infrared technology to measure the inside temperature of the tyre rather than surrounding air temperature, which can be affected by heat from the rim and brakes.

John Bailey, managing director, said: ‘The DigiTyre IR device accurately measures the temperature on the inside of the tyre when the heat has soaked through the whole structure. This is more useful to engineers than traditional methods and can be related to vehicle dynamics more effectively than the surface in contact with the road.’

The device includes air temperature and air pressure sensors mounted on the inside of the tyre rim. The sensors send data wirelessly to an antenna, where it is processed by an engine control unit and displayed on the vehicle dashboard or remotely on a handheld unit.

The patented device has been tested by two F1 teams and is expected to prove significant in light of the sport’s regulation changes. In addition to the introduction of slick tyres, next year’s ban on tyre warmers means engineers will increasingly rely on data from sensors to identify optimum tyre temperature.

While F1 is expected to prove a lucrative market, Bailey claims the device can be used in a wide variety of applications. ‘BERU f1systems believes tyre manufacturers and vehicle chassis engineers particularly will benefit from this new technology,’ he said. ‘The sensors can be used on any wheeled vehicle for tyre/vehicle dynamics development or where the earliest warning about tyre deflation could be valuable.’


Ellie Zolfagharifard