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How to measure crash impact of a remote control car?

  1. Dec 22, 2009 #1
    I want to mount some type of measuring device on a remote control car, and then crash it into a wall. As a result of the impact, I want to look at the speed the car was traveling at point of impact, as well as the rate of decelleration that occured after impact (using various bumpers). I think this is similar to how car manufacturers and vehicle safety agencies test cars for safety, but on a much smaller scale. I'm hoping someone can at least provide me with the appropriate key words to search the internet with, so that I can study and understand the forces involved. I would also like to find websites where someone has done something similar to this, and also to hopefully find a ready-made product that I can attach to the toy car. However, I don't really know what I'm looking for well enough to do a proper search. Any advice is appreciated, as I'm a physics rookie.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2009 #2
    "crumple zone"
    which is the designed crumpling of the front of the vehicle to give a controlled deceleration to the passengers.
  4. Dec 22, 2009 #3


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    You need an accelerometer
  5. Dec 22, 2009 #4
    It would probably be more accurate to use a radar to find a top velocity of the car, as opposed to using the force of impact to figure out the final velocity. Then take the top velocity as the worse case scenario for wrecking, and find impulse time's measured for particular materials, like a wall and the bumper.
  6. Dec 22, 2009 #5
    Mounting an LED on the vehicle that is flashing at a known rate, and making a video of the car from the side, will tell you the velocity profile to some degree of accuracy.
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