Vehicle Instrumentation | Strain Gauge Services and Data Collection

Sometimes, an off-the-shelf slip ring assembly or Wheel Force Transducer package isn’t enough to get the measurements need for a complete vehicle analysis. When it comes to complete vehicle instrumentation, Michigan Scientific (MSC) offers extensive experience and unique methods to obtain the measurements needed for a full evaluation. In addition to reliable instrumentation, Michigan Scientific also offers data acquisition and testing services for a wide variety of applications.

Vehicle Instrumentation Services

Vehicle Instrumentation

Vehicle Instrumented with Strain Gauges, Thermocouples, Accelerometers, GPS, and Wheel Force Transducers

Michigan Scientific has the knowledge and experience to obtain almost any type of vehicle measurement. Strain gauges are used to measure strain on production parts. A strain gauge is a type of sensor that outputs a voltage relative proportional to an applied force, pressure, weight, or tension. When the force changes, the resistance within the strain gauge also changes, allowing direct measurement of a signal that is proportional to a force. MSC has developed many unique methods of applying strain gauges to custom and production components.

During a complete vehicle instrumentation, slip ring assemblies and wireless telemetry are commonly used to transmit the signal from the strain gauges to data acquisition. Accelerometers and thermocouples are also common measurement sensors. Accelerometers are used to measure displacement of the vehicle while it is in operation while thermocouples are often used to monitor the temperature of various vehicle components or any shock temperatures. A global positioning system (GPS) is used to track vehicle speed, location, and time. These different sensors can be used individually or in conjunction to get a complete vehicle analysis. Wheel Force Transducers are also an ideal tool for any vehicle testing and are used to measure the three forces and three moments on a wheel. 

Instrumented Vehicle for On Track Testing

Instrumented Vehicle on a Test Track

So, why is all of this necessary? The simple answer is that customers expect their cars to handle well and keep them safe. Other expectations might include fuel efficiency, longevity, and the ability to drive on various terrain. There is so much that goes on behind-the-scenes to get customers a reliable and attractive quantification for those specifications. The equipment and instrumentation that is used for this type of testing must also be reliable. Many of these tests are performed on a track and on public roads. This gives engineers real-world data for how the car is operating in a typical situation as well as in severe cases.

Depending on the type of test, driving on public roads or on a rental track can become expensive and time consuming. A unique way to combat this is by using an instrumented vehicle to gather track or road profiling data and use it to perform additional testing on a road simulator. An instrumented vehicle on a road simulator allows for a controlled environment, test schedule, and increased flexibility. 

Data Acquisition and Testing Services

In addition to providing custom instrumentation and strain gauging services, Michigan Scientific also has extensive experience in providing custom data acquisition (DAQ) packages and full testing services. Getting reliable equipment and instrumentation is only part of the battle when performing rigorous tests; ensuring that it is being used in conjunction with dependable DAQ systems is crucial for accurate results. 

Consumer vehicles require rigorous testing to ensure safety and quality. It is essential that these vehicles are tested with reliable measurement instrumentation. Michigan Scientific continues to provide quality instrumentation services and reliable testing equipment. To begin discussing your application, contact a Michigan Scientific representative today.