When I learned that the Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team was located right here in Michigan, I thought that a dragster would be an exciting application for TECAT’s wireless sensor technology. After all, the WISER system is designed for real-time measurement in high-torque applications, and the racetrack certainly qualified as a high-torque environment. Furthermore, there are a lot of forces at work at the incredible speeds they go down the track that can affect the car’s performance. We’re good at measuring those forces. Together, TECAT and Kalitta could use that information to optimize engine performance. As it turned out, I had several connection points with Kalitta through friends and colleagues that brought our two teams together. As expected, drag racing and our wireless sensor technology proved to be an impressive combination.
In any kind of racing — whether it be by land, sea, or air — winning comes down to fine-tuning your engine to wring out every last bit of performance. Using TECAT’s WISER system, Kalitta was able to measure torque in real time and import that data right into a laptop to analyze their engine’s performance. Since measurements were taken at such a high speed, they were able to clearly see what was going on with each individual cylinder. This information was used to fine-tune their engine to give them a competitive edge. In addition, our wireless sensors were used to measure vibration, providing Kalitta with a better understanding of what was going on with their car’s frame and how the different parts were interacting with each other.
Our relationship with Kalitta wasn’t about selling hardware, it was about helping them understand how to use our sensors to solve a very complex problem. They were and are phenomenal to work with, offering a depth of knowledge that perfectly complements our own and knowing exactly what it takes to win. Our teams have really come together to tackle some difficult issues, which continue to provide a great opportunity to showcase the capabilities of our wireless sensor technology.
Need to measure flex plate torque in the real world? Download the case study here