Measuring the wheel expansion at more than 1,700 km/h
As product sponsor for the Bloodhound Project, Micro-Epsilon UK supplied a total of 15 laser displacement sensors for the wheel spin test carried out at the Rolls-Royce test bench in Derby (Great Britain). Nine optoNCDT 1700 sensors with a measuring range of 10mm were set up on the test rig to measure the radial and axial run out of the aerospace-grade aluminium (Al 7037) wheel as it rotated at speeds of more than 1700km/h (1,100mph). Two optoNCDT 1700 laser displacement sensors with a measuring range of 2mm were set up to measure the thermal expansion of the frame that runs across the top of the test rig (i.e. for test rig calibration purposes). In addition to the optoNCDT 1700 sensors, the test rig was also equipped with four optoNCDT 1402 laser sensors (with a measuring range of 5mm), which were mounted underneath the test rig in a confined space. These sensors measured the run out, alignment and any other movements of the test rig, including the steel hub that the wheel is mounted to. During the test, the wheel was successfully spun to 10,429 rpm. Test results were similar to the predictions that the BLOODHOUND engineers had calculated - the expansion of the wheel’s 902.6mm diameter by 1.6mm was as expected.