MotoGP starts in Sepang before the challenge of the unique IMU

Dorna will supply a standard Inertial Measurement Unit that helps interpret the switchboard and influences the bike's electronics.


The dawn started the Sepang test, the first of the two pre-season tests for MotoGP with a view to the World Cup start on March 10 in Qatar. It is the absence of Lorenzo, through injury, and a good yardstick to know how the different factories of the championship go before a technological challenge that this year is more important than it may seem a priori. The arrival of the new unique IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that can create many headaches for more than one factory.

We are talking about an inertial platform provided by the championship that informs and helps to interpret the intervention of the control unit electronic (ECU). The IMU will be controlled by a new technical regulation that was introduced for 2019 in a unique and equal way for all and that was previously of free choice, which allowed Ducati and Honda to go one step ahead of the competition in the past. The reason? Count between its ranks with engineers of Magneti Marelli, suppliers of the switchboard and standard software for all MotoGP.

The IMU has an impact on the behavior of electronics, since this set of sensors sends information to the ECU. We asked Márquez about the new IMU at the Valencia trial, in November, and he said he had no idea what we were asking him. Surely, from now on you will know it well because you will have to work on this important technical change. This electronic adjustment can make a difference, especially if the factories continue behind Ducati and Honda in the search for advantages, as seen in 2018. They took advantage of the loophole in the regulation allowing the factories to have their own IMU that, in its more sophisticated form, they are inertial platforms capable of guiding and guiding spacecraft or military missiles ...

The IMU is used to measure the angle of inclination, which is a vital information for the operation of the computer signal processing, and to convert your raw data into position, speed and orientation information needed for systems such as traction and wheel control. Until now, the factory equipment used the IMU signal processing computer as a subprocessor to partially exceed the limits of the single ECU for all.

The equality on the grid has increased in recent years thanks to Dorna has partially worsened all The bikes and the initial philosophy of the IMU prior to 2019 was that it only communicated the angle of inclination, but a sophisticated IMU does much more. Report on acceleration, deceleration or track location (know if the motorcycle is on a first gear curve at 100 km / h or coming out at fourth to 230). And all that is crucial information for the traction control system, the great challenge of any ECU.

The technological 'traps' do not disappear with the unique IMU

Now that Dorna provides an equal IMU for all and limited to its basic functions, la advantage of the manufacturers that have managed to incorporate an IMU at the level of air forces disappears, in theory, but opens the door to traps difficult to detect ... Corrado Cecchinelli, technical director of MotoGP, knows it, because Dorna does not regulate the electronic components used in the pilot, such as monkeys equipped with airbag, which depend on the information of an IMU to determine when a fall occurs.

Let's say that an unrestricted IMU could be a library of information that the ECU can read and use to optimize power delivery or use the clutch as an engine brake. There are ways to avoid the prohibitions. As an example perhaps a bit of a tricky one, the pilot could carry a hidden microprocessor in a false tooth, as the professor assures Dennis Noyes, important source of this text along with Kevin Cameron, one of the most prestigious technical journalists of the moto.



Photos from as.com

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