Ametek Solartron Metrology Sponsors Bloodhound Supersonic Car

Precision Linear Variable Displacement Sensors Will Be Used on 1,000 Mile Per Hour Car

by Sophie Mills | Thursday 10 July 2014

Bloodhound Supersonic Car
Solartron Metrology, a unit of AMETEK, Inc., has agreed to a sponsor the Bloodhound SSC supersonic car being developed by an international educational initiative to break the world land speed record. Along with the sponsorship, Solartron Metrology will provide customized linear measurement products along with extensive knowledge and expertise drawn from its experience with the Thrust SSC, a jet-propelled car that established the current world land speed record.

Solartron’s linear variable displacement transducers were selected for project for their robust construction with no-wearing parts and their ability to withstand the sub-micron-sized dust particles that will be encountered at the South African desert test track, where the world land speed record will be attempted.

“The use of precision measurement tools within the car during the world record attempt is vitally important in ensuring that any and all alterations are monitored,” comments Richard Noble, Bloodhound Project Director. “These sensors will give RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who will pilot the car, and his team a full picture of how the car is performing as well as any actions that need to be taken.”

“As with all other aspects of the car’s development and performance, the tools we use will need to endure some of the harshest operating conditions ever experienced. That is why we carefully chose our product partners. With their excellent life spans and ability to withstand ruthless test conditions, Solartron Metrology displacement sensors are the ideal choice for this demanding application.”

Initial design and engineering have identified two areas where the precision LVDT sensors will be used. The first involves measuring the linear movement of the car’s steering gantry. In this application, LVDT sensors were chosen over potentiometers for their rugged construction and ability to withstand fine dust particles.

The second application involves position measurement of the vehicle’s air brakes and side winglets. As the vehicle decelerates, air brakes will deploy at 800 mph, parachutes at 600 mph, and disc brakes for speeds under 250 mph. The winglets are designed to provide downward pressure on the vehicle. Vehicle test runs are expected to take place in 2014 or 2015 on the Hakskeen Pan, a dry lake bed in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

Initiated in 2008, the Bloodhound Project is an on-going, educational development project designed to inspire young people to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Both Bloodhound Project Director Noble and RAF Wing Commander Green have held the world land speed record. Mr. Noble set the record in 1983 by traveling more than 633 miles per hour aboard the Thrust 2, and he was Project Director for ThrustSSC, piloted by Commander Green, when it established the current world record of 763 miles per hour in 1997.

Solartron Metrology is a world leader in electronic instruments used in ultra precision manufacturing and a unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices


Sophie Mills
Solartron Metrology
+44 (0) 1243 833407

Thursday 10 July 2014 / file under Electronics | Automotive | Aerospace | Engineering | Technology