Harsh Environments, Aerospace, Electric Motors and Drives, Off-Highway Machinery, Industrial Machinery and Robotics, Performance Automotive, Electric Power Assisted Steering, Condition Monitoring, Preventative Maintenance
The measurement of torque is common practice in all types of aerospace engines and is used to improve safety, pilot control, and engine reliability. Transense SAW sensor technology offers advantages in these applications due to its accuracy over other technologies. Our sensor system is robust and compact in size and weight. Its ability to measure or compensate for temperature fluctuations, and immunity from background electromagnetic interference, make it the ideal choice.
Based on our sensor performance in harsh mechanical and environmental conditions GE selected Transense SAW sensor technology under licence for the U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), which is to replace the GE T700 series engines on all Army Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. The new engine will be used on one or more of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift platforms offering; 50% more power, 25% more fuel efficiency, higher levels of performance at 6,000ft and 35°C (95°F) and 6,000 new engines for the existing helicopter fleet.
Transense SAW sensors are also well suited to the growing UAM Market. See SAW in Electric Motors for vehicles and eVTOL for more information.
As the market for electrified vehicle powertrains develops rapidly, the quest to deliver improved efficiency and performance in electric drive systems is paramount. Maximising vehicle range for a given battery capacity is a key target of every powertrain development programme, alongside maintaining and improving the safety integrity of the powertrain system.
The present state of the art is to use advanced torque estimation techniques based on electrical current and rotational speed measurements. Accurate torque measurement is desirable but has not been possible using competing torque measurement systems. Using Transense SAW sensors eliminates the need for estimation and gives reliable torque and temperature measurement from the motor rotor that can be used to improve both motor efficiency and safety, and is suitable for the growing EV motor market. See SAW in Electric Motors for vehicles for more information.
EMD also has links to other sectors with increasing electrification in aerospace and industrial machinery.
Off-highway machinery provides the backbone of many sectors, from mining and construction to agriculture, materials handling, and logistics where Transense SAW sensors can be used. Surface acoustic wave technology provides solutions for off-highway manufacturers to measure torque and/or temperature, wirelessly, in real-time. This capability allows torque measurements to be used in the machines control system to improve accuracy, efficiency, and power distribution. This can also contribute to the ability to operate such machines remotely or on a fully autonomous basis and reduce unnecessary breakdowns and costly downtime.
Transense SAW sensor technology measures torque without requiring shaft torsion/flex meaning the mechanical integrity of the component being measured can be maintained creating new possibilities for improved machine control. See SAW in Electric Motors for off-highway vehicles for more information.
SAW sensor technology can also provide an improved way to measure torque, rotation, and temperature in robotic systems. Measuring torque and forces without reducing the mechanical integrity of the part, and virtually eliminating flex, creating high-performing and more repeatable robots with more compact joints than has previously been possible. SAW technology is robust and reliable offering a highly accurate and high-speed measurement of torque, force and temperature creating new possibilities in robotic system design and control.
SAW sensors can also enable measurement over a joint with a full rotation of >360° such as in the robotic wrist joint. See SAW in robotics for more information.
Transense has successfully designed its torque SAW sensor technology for Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) in specialised vehicles and with partners McLaren for Motorsport torque-sensing products. For several years Transense SAW Technology has been used in premium motorsport driveline applications to measure delivered torque in race vehicle drivetrains for monitoring and regulatory compliance purposes. In September 2021, the Company agreed a Joint Collaborative Agreement (JCA) with McLaren Applied Ltd to further develop non-contact torque products for this sector.
The performance motorsport market offers a real and active proving ground for new automotive technology which may subsequently be adopted in mainstream vehicles. There is a strong overlap with EMD as high-volume performance vehicles are increasingly being developed using electric drivetrains. See SAW in Electric Motors for vehicles.