Electronic Design

Study Skids With SAFE Dragsled

Skids occur in all kinds of hazardous situations, from cars on icy roads to loading trucks on greasy floors. Designers have to account for skid potential in their vehicles, but testing requires them to fill tires halfway with concrete and pull them along a surface while trying to read a spring scale. Fortunately, Massload Technologies has developed an electronic alternative to this clumsy procedure.

The Sample Accumulator for Friction Evaluation (SAFE) Dragsled requires as little as 18 inches of pull for accurate friction calculations due to its rapid electronic tension sample rate of 500 per second. It then automatically calculates the coefficient of friction by comparing the average pull force divided by the weight of the device. This fully automated system also operates in any weather conditions. Powered by a standard off-the-shelf PDA and using an infrared signal, the Dragsled doesn't need any external wiring, substantially prolonging system life. Designers can integrate the PDA with other standard desktop software for a range of skid-scene reports. Using four AAAs, its battery life exceeds 100 hours of operating time. And at 16 kg, it weighs a lot less than tires full of concrete!

For more information, go to www.massload.com.

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