Salakazi Racingís KTM nitro methane motorcycle/dragster does the quarter mile in 6.7 sec, with a terminal velocity of 196 mph. One key for reaching these speeds is an automatic three-disc, four-stage clutch fitted with a Proworx digital controller. That controller is pre-programmed for optimal speed given the racing conditions it encounters. Inside this clutch, there are a few tiny but critical devices. Among them are a pair of RM22 encoders from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom-based Renishaw. The encoders are both fast and precise enough to monitor speeds up to 30,000 rpm. One monitors the position of the crankshaft in the engine, while the other measures the clutch speed. When these two values are compared, clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can be determined with high precision.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
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