Potentiometers monitor crash test dummies. TRL are using potentiometers supplied by Variohm-Eurosensor to study what happens to the driver and passengers travelling in a vehicle when an accident occurs. The tests, which they carry out, involve crashing a vehicle into a fixed barrier and monitoring the effect on dummies placed inside the vehicle. During the test lots of events happen in a very short time. Some of these events can be monitored in slow motion using film or video but many have to be measured and logged in real time and that's where the potentiometers come in. The Dummies used by TRL utilise the GL60 hollow shaft potentiometers from Variohm-Eurosensor. The hollow shaft design fits easily into the dummy's joint mechanism and offers an immediate response performance, potentiometers are real time devices - they see events and measure them without any time lag or sampling delay. Adjustability, potentiometers are absolute devices so once incorporated into a dummy and calibrated they never forget where they are so starting joint position can be adjusted without further calibration. Durability is also another key feature of the GL sensor; it's robust yet compact design over exceptional life expectancy. Passenger cars used to be built on a very rigid chassis on the mistaken belief that "stronger was safer" we now know that this isn't the case and that "energy absorbing" vehicles are far safer. This is especially born out in motor sport where vehicles are travelling faster than ever but the number of driver fatalities has fallen. By studying the results of the TRL tests vehicle designers are able to compare the performance of different techniques, materials and ideas to keep car occupants safe even in a really serious collision. The potentiometers used within the dummies are just part of the Variohm-Eurosensor range. Similar sensors are supplied into many industries from medical to aerospace where the ability to survive in the harshest of environments is important.

For more information, please contact:-

Variohm-Eurosensor Ltd.
Tel: +44(0) 1327 351004
Fax: +44(0) 1327 353564

March 2006

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