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Sensors deliver reliability under extreme conditionsWith motorsport very much in mind during its evolution, Mono is a unique single-seater road car developed by Briggs Automotive Company (BAC). Design director Ian Briggs comments: "I wanted Mono to be high tech and totally fresh in its approach - a car for people who want to feel a connection, and be really involved in the character of the car they drive. It had to be a car people would be consistently excited by, and would experience pride in owning. In short, Mono is a totally immersive experience, from start to finish."
Operated via steering wheel-mounted paddles, Mono uses an F3-specification, six-speed sequential Hewland gearbox with an electronic/pneumatic semi-automatic, closed-loop gear selection system that delivers paddle-shift changes in 35 milliseconds. This is coupled to a 2.3 litre, 285bhp four-cylinder Cosworth engine enabling the Mono to achieve a 0-60mph time of less than three seconds.
With a performance to match today's Formula racing cars, the single-seat Mono required an equivalent level of intuitive direct control, so BAC designers and engineers specified components that were themselves designed and engineered for the racetrack.
When a gear position sensor was required for the Mono's gearbox, specifying Penny + Giles was the obvious choice, as Briggs explains: "Used to relay gear position feedback to the GCU, sensors were vital during BAC's development of Mono, informing the driver of the car's current gear. We therefore needed a sensor that was dependable, reliable and met our exacting requirements for Mono, so we called Penny + Giles."
The closed-loop control system on Mono uses a gearbox control unit (GCU) with inputs from a Penny + Giles gear position sensor to alter its own operation in real-time. During gear changes, the closed-loop system monitors the gear position sensor to determine the angular position of the gearbox selector barrel. Information from this is then relayed to the GCU to ensure use of the throttle blip, torque reduction or pneumatic actuator where necessary, to effect consistently quick and reliable gearshifts.
Standard Penny + Giles SRH280P rotary position sensors use a factory-programmable, non-contact Hall-effect sensor system to provide reliable and accurate rotary position measurement in extreme motorsport and industrial environments where shock and vibration can occur. Additional key features include: single or dual output channels; total sensor measurement range from 0-20° to 0-360°; low noise level (1mV rms) on output signal; crush-proof mounting flange with steel inserts; and rapid availability.
Using the popular 38mm flanged housing and with an environmental protection rating to IP68, the sensors operate from either 5V DC regulated or 9-30V DC unregulated power supplies and are available with analogue (0.5-4.5V DC and 0.1-4.9V DC) or digital (PWM) output signals. The sensor is factory programmable,allowing OEMs to specify the output signal type, measurement range (0-20° to 0-360° in 1° increments) and output direction (clockwise or anticlockwise). It has a 12-bit resolution (0.025%) over the selected measuring range, and operates from -40 to +140°C when powered at 5V DC.
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