Avoiding the Pitfalls in Motorsports Data Acquisition 2008-01-2987
Restrictions on track testing, combined with advances in technology, have contributed to an increased dependence on sensors and data acquisition for diagnosing problems and improving performance in motorsports vehicles. This dependence has created a new set of challenges for race engineers to collect quality data from a vehicle at the track. Successful 7- or 8-post shaker rig testing is highly dependent on the quality of the data acquired at the track. An improperly configured data acquisition system can actually be worse than a faulty sensor. This paper highlights a few of the most common problems in motorsports data acquisition: aliasing and sample rate selection. The effects of these problems are described for typical suspension sensors such as accelerometers, shock potentiometers, load cells, and laser ride height sensors. An experimental case study is presented to explain the implications of these problems. Based on this analysis, a set of guidelines is provided to help race engineers avoid the pitfalls and obtain quality data from the track.