Question РI am a freshman engineering student at Vanderbilt University and for one of my classes I am creating a web page relating electrical engineering in the entertainment industry. I am planning one web page about how electrical engineering is used in amusement park rides. Is there information you can send me about how electrical engineering is specifically used to design and improve the rides you have worked on?

You asked for information about how electrical engineering is used design and improve the rides that we have worked on.

The best (and only) information that we could send you on this subject is already published on our web site. I suggest viewing the articles under “Projects”. There are many.

Here are just a few ways that we use electrical engineering to improve rides:

1. Provide controlled decelerations for speeding vehicles as they enter the unloading area.

2. Evenly distribute vehicles throughout the ride and maintain a smooth flow of vehicles even as friction and torque characteristics change as a result of varying temperatures and other environmental conditions. (Much effort is devoted to maintaining attraction capacity.)

3. Controlling linear induction motor current in response to exact vehicle position to obtain the desired vehicle launch velocity profile.

4. Monitoring of environmental conditions including oxygen levels, carbon monoxide levels, temperature, and others in the vicinity of attraction flame effects so that problems can be detected early, for safety.

5. Continuous monitoring and data logging of vehicle dynamics so as to be able to defend against lawsuits from guests who falsely claim injury on a ride.

The list is really endless….