Hello all, I am new to these forums and have zero experience with Arduino. I am a mech. engineering student and was assigned the task of creating an experiment that utilizes sensors of my choosing, using Arduino for data collection. The final result will be delivering a 5 minute presentation to my class and professors about the experiment, goals and equipment setup.
Here's the experimental question I will answer:
In the case of a roller coaster launched via Linear Synchronous Motor(s) (LSM), at what ride train weight will the motor pull more power than it is rated for and thus not reach its target velocity? The purpose is to determine at what point the motor would need to be upgraded for a more powerful option.
This assignment is entirely theoretical, the experiment will not be performed, it is purely a conceptual project to get us familiar with Arduino. Also, we are not required to write any code, only a general guide for how the program would work to relay sensor data using Arduino back to the computer for analysis. That said, I have determined I will need to use a velocimeter (probably laser), accelerometer, scale (to measure weight of water or sand added to ride train for each test), and a power meter. I have searched digikey for a sensor capable of measuring peak power during the launches and haven't had much luck aside from a few standalone units that cost upward of $2000. The LSM for these tests pulls a peak of approx. 6000Amps during the 4 second launch to 45 mph (I am using the Lightning Rod at Dollywood for the experiment). The motor is rated at approx 1500hp. Since this experiment will not be performed, price of needed equipment doesn't matter, but any suggestions for a clamp meter that could work or otherwise would be appreciated. My professor said a standalone digital meter could be used, but would prefer all sensors use Arduino.
My primary question is this: What sensors would you recommend for this, and would it even be possible to do this with only one Arduino Uno board?
The acclerometer and velocimeter would need to be mounted inside the ride train and data sent to pc via wifi, or stored on a jump drive to be recovered after each trial. The power meter would be connected to the LSM which is fixed to the ride track. I'm thinking at least three boards would be needed (one for the accelerometer and velocimeter in the moving ride train, one for the scales, and one for the power meter). I hope I included enough information to get some suggestions, I know this is not a simple experiment, especially for a beginner, but considering that the project is general, and that I don't need to write any working programs to get this running, I thought it would be a fun concept problem, as it is in my area of interest. Thanks in advance for your input!