Sensors don't just make vehicles more comfortable. Banner Engineering's racing Pontiac GXP.R puts a customized Banner long-range optical sensor on each corner of the car's front end to measure its downforce, the downward pressure that makes the car hug the track. The greater the downforce, the faster the car can go through curves and turns. During practice runs, the car collects a stream of data about the changing distance between the car's front end and the track. Crews then modify the car's tires and suspension to fit the track's combination of curves and straights.
University of Southampton researchers have come up with a way to 3D print transparent optical fibers like those used in fiber-optic telecommunications cables, potentially boosting frequency and reducing loss.
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