Tyre Pressure & Temperature Monitoring
The bf1systems Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is the only choice for providing reliable, accurate data on your tyres and over the last ten years has evolved to become the market leader for motorsport and high end road cars.
Based around the high strength and high temperature wheel sensor, the system has proved itself in the harshest environments, winning countless championships in motorsport, and being standard fit to the fastest road cars in the world.
A variety of systems and components are available to suit different applications, ranging from single seat race cars such as Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula E and Formula Renault, through to closed wheel race cars such as LMP1 & 2 cars, GTE, GT3 and WTCC cars, road cars and wind tunnel scale models. All of these applications are explained further below.
Open Wheel Race Cars
Open Wheel Race Cars
Since 2001 bf1systems have supplied single seat race cars around the world with reliable, long lasting TPMS solutions.
The TPMS for open wheel race cars consists of:
- The wheel sensor which is mounted onto the back of a custom valve, and is mounted in each wheel. The wheel sensor measures the tyre pressure and air temperature and transmits this wirelessly, along with the sensor’s serial number, remaining battery life and other diagnostic data. The wheel sensor is a compact unit, which fits easily to most standard rims, and has no antenna protruding up which can easily get caught during tyre mounting.
- Antennas mounted on the car to receive the wireless transmissions from the wheel sensors. Depending on the type of car, between one and four antennas are generally needed. The antennas are digital units, meaning only three standard wires (no special cabling) are required to connect each antenna to the ECU.
- An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) mounted in the car, which collects data from all the antennas on the vehicle, processes it and then transmits the required data on a high speed CAN bus, to the logger and car’s display. The ECU is configured by the user with their pre-defined pressure and temperature limits, and if the pressures or temperatures of any of the wheels on the car drop outside of these limits, warnings are activated on the CAN bus, which can then alert the driver to a possible problem. A Combined ECU/Antenna is also available which can either be centrally mounted on the car to receive datagrams from all wheel sensors, or also have an external antenna connected for use on larger cars.
- Diagnostic tools such as the Mini Analyser and Garage Monitoring System which allow you to monitor the status of your wheels when they are not fitted to the car.
With a range of wheel sensors, ECUs and Antennas to suit every application, all formulae and budgets can be catered for.
Typically systems operate in a “positioned” manner, with wheel sensor IDs being assigned to positions on the car. Up to 100 wheel sensor IDs can be assigned to each corner of the car, and when the car starts moving it automatically detects which of the wheels are fitted to the car and locks onto these. When the car enters the pits the next time, the system releases that set of wheels and then looks for the next set.
Closed Wheel Race Cars
Closed Wheel Race Cars
bf1systems have specifically designed a TPMS solution for closed wheel race cars that removes the need for teams to manually assign wheel sensors to corners of the car, and instead the system can automatically detect where sensors have been fitted, without any user intervention.
The bf1systems auto learning TPMS has been specifically designed for closed wheel race cars and provides teams with a fit and forget Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) due to its ability to automatically learn the wheel sensors fitted to the car, and start monitoring them, without the user having to assign sensors to specific corners, manually. The system is currently used on cars such as the Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 GTE and GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Nissan GT-R GT3 and Mercedes SLS GT3, and in other applications such as the WRC, Rally Raid and WTCC.
For 2016 the system has been upgraded to consist of four Low Frequency (LF) Trigger Antenna units, one of which is located in each wheel arch. The LF Trigger Antenna broadcasts a request signal over a range of approximately one metre, and any wheel sensor within that vicinity responds by transmitting a Radio Frequency (RF) datagram back to the antenna which also receives the datagrams, processes them and passes them to the TPMS ECU.
The ECU uses each trigger antenna in turn to allow it to determine what sensors are fitted to the car, and when the car is stationary, uses the unit to request datagrams from the wheel sensors. This means that even when a car is stationary in the pits, data from the wheels fitted to the car is be available.
When the vehicle starts moving, the system conducts a check of the wheels it has learned by using the accelerometer inside the wheel sensors to filter out any non-moving wheels (e.g. spare wheels fitted to the car), and learns only a complete set of moving sensors.
All data acquired by the TPMS on the tyre pressures and temperatures, plus warnings, is made available on the high speed CAN bus connection (baud rate configurable).
When the wheels on the car are changed, the system will automatically learn the new sensors fitted to the car, and will start monitoring these, meaning no user interaction is required.
The LF learning system is compatible with both DigiTyre and DigiTyre Lite ECUs, meaning a fit and forget TPMS which requires no user intervention, and allows teams to fit any wheel sensor to any corner of the car without connecting to the ECU, can now be fitted to all closed wheel race cars.
Components Required (per car)
- 1 x ECU
- 4 x LF Trigger Antenna
- 4 x Wheel Sensor & Valves
- ECU – -40°C – +85°C
- Wheel Sensor – -40°C –+150°C
- Trigger Antenna – -40°C – +105°C
- ECU – 12V switched ignition
- Current – <300mA
- Pressure Range – 0 – 5.375bar gauge
- Pressure Resolution – 25mbar/bit
- Accuracy – ±25.0mbar
- Pressure Range – 0 – 3.631bar gauge
- Pressure Resolution – 14.7mbar/bit
- Accuracy – ±29.4mbar
- Temperature Range – -40°C – 175°C
- Temperature Resolution – 1°C/bit
- Accuracy – ±1°C
- Transmit Rate (moving) – 1Hz
- Mass – 30g
For nearly 10 years bf1systems have been supplying TPMS solutions to the world's fastest road cars, which not only meet legislative requirements, but which also provide the car and driver with the highest level of reliable, accurate information on the state of their tyres.
bf1systems currently supply two types of TPMS for use on road cars, depending on the functional requirements of the customer.
The first system is a LF learning system which utilises Low Frequency (LF) triggers in the car’s wheel arches to allow the system to interrogate the wheel sensors and force them to transmit datagrams which are received by antennas mounted on the vehicle, when the car is stationary, meaning the driver knows the status of their tyres before they start driving the car.
The second system is a wireless auto-locate system which utilises a single Combined ECU/Antenna on the car, along with two accelerometers contained within the wheel sensors to determine where on the car the sensors are fitted, once the car starts driving.
Regardless of which system is chosen, both meet the requirements set out in FMVSS 138 and ECE R64, and provide functionality in excess of these legislative requirements.
Due to the nature of the vehicles bf1systems have experience of equipping with TPMS, we have solutions available off the shelf to suit everything from a medium volume sports car, through to one off hyper cars.
All of the bf1systems TPMS setups are supported by diagnostics equipment for use on the production line, in wheel assembler plants, and within dealerships to ensure that everyone is able to fully diagnose any potential issues being reported.
As the development and testing of race and road cars, engineers strive to gain a better correlation between the results seen in wind tunnel testing, and those obtained on the race track and road. To aid with this more and more wind tunnels have turned to bf1systems to equip them with a TPMS solution.
The bf1systems TPMS has proven itself in wind tunnels around the world, due to the adaptable and robust nature of the system. The TPMS wheel sensor is small enough to be fitted into 50% and 60% scale wheels, and the high sensitivity antennas can be mounted off the car and still receive the data reliably.
The TPMS ECU is then wired into the data acquisition and the tyre pressures and temperatures are logged along with other data from the testing.