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RFID Keeps Engine Noise in Check at Racecourse

The Nurburgring Motorsport Complex is using a system from sound engineers BeSB featuring Identec Solutions' RFID technology, to identify the amount of sound made by vehicles passing through residential areas.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 02, 2011Thanks to RFID tags affixed to racecars, as well as readers and sound-measuring equipment located along the racecourse, the Nürburgring Motorsport Complex, in Nürburg, Germany, is monitoring the noise level of every car's engine.

Although European racecar drivers and their fans may enjoy a sport that involves driving along a winding course through forests and near villages, the noise produced by the vehicles is not as popular with those living in the vicinity of the course. For that reason, sound emanating from the cars is regulated by race organizers, in order to ensure that no racecar creates more than the approved level of noise.

Alexander Knobloch, an enginieer at BeSB GmbH Berlin
Race organizers at Nürburgring have employed a variety of methods for controlling the cars' noise levels. The most recent method consisted of using a microphone, as well as existing induction loops (installed at the finish line, for measuring racing times) that detect each vehicle's time-keeping transponder as it passes over that line. Although that solution helped measure sound levels at the end of the race (while also providing racers with timing information pertaining to when each vehicle crossed the finish line), it could not measure sound levels throughout the length of the racecourse, nor did it automatically link a sound measurement with a specific vehicle.

To resolve that problem, racecars at the Nürburgring Motorsport Complex now utilize a system that includes RFID technology provided by Identec Solutions. With readers stationed at key locations along the course, as well as with microphones, and with RFID tags attached to each vehicle, the complex can automatically monitor each vehicle's sound level at numerous points throughout a race. The solution is being provided by noise-engineering firm BeSB GmbH, located in Berlin, using hardware and software from Identec Solutions. BeSB utilized the technology that would measure sound along the course, which spans 20 kilometers (12.4 miles).

The Nürburgring, which opened in 1927 and is one of the oldest racing circuits in the world, was built before any noise regulations were put in place. At present, the complex is divided into two sections: the modern Grand-Prix (GP) circuit, where major racing events such as the Formula 1 World Championship races take place; and the historic Nordschleife (North Loop), primarily used for endurance races, automotive industry testing and tourist driving. The North Loop is the area in which noise is of concern.

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