Company: Evolution Measurement
Category: Test, Measurement & Inspection Product of the Year
As engineers seek to produce energy efficient structures, the importance of aerodynamic testing is ever more significant. Future vehicles will need to become more aerodynamically tuned and efficient in order to directly impact fuel or energy consumption. The most significant contributor to a vehicle’s overall fuel consumption after its powertrain is its ability move through the air with as little drag as possible. To this end, some of the most important measurement data is found in tightest of spaces around a test article, which makes it difficult to gather. That is, until now.
The EvoScann® P8-D is a ground-breaking pressure scanner. Its tiny footprint means it can be located into the tightest of spaces, enabling aerodynamicists to gather those illusive measurements which can deliver a competitive advantage, whether in motorsports, passenger car development, or aerospace research.
Weighing under 15g, the P8-D can be securely attached to test articles without affecting the accuracy of the data. Often multiple scanners are placed to distribute the data collection, reducing the length of tubing required and enabling more channels to be used and therefore more data to be gathered for analysis.
Accuracy is incredibly important, which is why our engineers have utilised high-performance piezo-resistive pressure sensors to ensure the highest accuracy, enabling the measurement of a complete aero section in one compact device. Integrated temperature sensors provide useful data, but also apply temperature correction at source to ensure optimal performance and minimal ambient temperature effects.
The past few years have seen very significant developments is the sensing technology used and how we characterise the sensors for optimum performance. With new design, engineering configuration and advanced analysis of the thermal performance of the sensors, EvoScann P8D is now able to deliver measurement performance in the critical 100bar (10,000Pa) range to 0.1%. This is a Total Error Band figure and includes the associated effects of linearity, repeatability and hysteresis. The ability to locate the scanners in space-constrained locations means that tube lengths can be kept as short as possible, this means that changes in air pressure, (or the frequency response of the sensor is at its highest possible level) can be detected very quickly and this in turn, coupled with the higher accuracy of measurement enables a quantum change in both the measurement speed and the accuracy of the measurement. Better understanding of the aerodynamic performance in the test article leads to more rapid evolution in development of its aerodynamics.
We’ve also considered the usability of the data. Applying the latest high-speed data communications technology, EvoScann® P8-D is a pressure measurement and engineering unit converter in one package. With no requirement for external signal conditioning, it transmits accurate, fast data, in engineering units, directly to the test article’s central processing unit. Using a single cable to provide the power and transmit the data and with a choice of industry-standard connectors, EvoScann® P8-D scanner is ready to plug-and-play, producing high-speed synchronous data within seconds of connection.
Whilst they may be small, our EvoScann® P8-D scanners are robust. Utilising carbon fibre casing, the P8-D has integral impact and splash-protection. A high maximum operating temperature means that even use in proximity to hot vehicle parts is possible, extending measurement to the most critical areas.
The P8-D was created in consultation with customers who wanted to measure true differential pressure when connected to the static line, giving greater accuracy and comparison to reference points, leading to improved measurement performance.
The response from our customers has been incredible. Predominately utilised in the automotive industry, EvoScann® pressure scanners are becoming a staple toolbox instrument for aerodynamicists.
Working with industry, our engineering team are proactively delivering dynamic solutions, adapting to customer requirements and adjusting the product range as required.
The EvoScann® product range seeks to provide pressure measurement solutions with an ultra-miniature footprint embedded in its DNA.
Applications for the product are far and wide as the core purpose is to increase energy efficiency, through aerodynamic testing. As such, EvoScann® has played a key role of projects involving electric vehicle development, wind turbines and aerospace.
EvoScann® pressure scanners have been installed in wind turbine blades, measuring aerodynamic performance of the design. By adjusting the design of the blades, productivity can be increased, generating higher levels of electrical output from the turbine.
In aerospace, EvoScann® has been involved in aerodynamic testing of wings and overall efficiency of aircraft. We are delighted to be part of the European Clean Sky initiative, specifically assisting in the testing phase of the largest European research programme developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft.
As with the motorsports industry, EvoScann® is also supporting automotive manufacturers with the aerodynamic development of electric vehicles, improving energy efficiency.
Opportunities are now developing in medical and HVAC applications, where EvoScann® can monitor the pressure in areas such as clean rooms and air conditioning units.
Owing to their unique footprint, P8-D’s can be installed directly onto clean room airflow systems to ensure pressure is maintained and alert maintenance to when levels are changing. Equally in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, maintenance engineers would utilise the P8-D in their servicing and maintenance inspections to identify areas of concern.
Due to the nature of the testing, which often provides our customers with a competitive advantage, we have non-disclosure agreements in place and are therefore unable to provide direct customer feedback on the product or our service. We have sold over 1000 scanners into the industries highlighted and continue to work with globally recognised companies. One major project is as a direct result of our work on the H2020 CleanSky project.
It’s a really exciting time at EvoScann® as this tiny pressure continues to make a big mark in the world of aerodynamics.