The ongoing quest for efficiency knows no bounds. Every external piece of an automobile can be optimized in some way to lower its drag on a vehicle, regardless of what kind of car it's applied to. That includes those used for law enforcement. Even though we may not often think about the light bar that sits atop nearly every police car, it definitely accounts for a measure of additional drag, and that figure naturally goes up with the vehicle's rate of speed.

For this reason, Hella has designed a new light bar called the RTK 7 that sits as close to the vehicle's roof as possible and features a flat profile to improve its aerodynamics. LED lights are used in place of halogen bulbs and need less power to run. Plus, LEDs last a long time without needing replacement. If all of this seems unimportant, consider how much fuel is used every year by emergency vehicles all around the world and think about how small, incremental improvements could lower that amount. Production of the Hella RTK 7 light bar is scheduled to begin in September. Full press release after the break.

[Source: Hella]

PRESS RELEASE:

Flatter, More Flexible, More Efficient: The Evolution of The "Blue-Light Bar" Into A Timeless Classic

LIPPSTADT, GERMANY – April 1, 2009: In 2009, Hella is launching the RTK7 special signalling system for police, fire-service and rescue vehicles as a completely newly developed product. It sets new standards in design, flexibility and efficiency, and offers perfect solutions for all requirements of the different users.

The lighting and electronics specialists set themselves ambitious development targets on the basis of decades of experiences: The new RTK 7 is a convincing choice externally alone, thanks to its timeless modern design and a flat, aerodynamic construction. All of the lighting-technology components have been implemented using powerful and durable LED technology, and can be configured with other modules according to customer wishes into individual, high-performance special signalling systems. The modular design ensures a high level of service-friendliness, and the new control concept is particularly user-oriented. In addition, a declared development aim was to design the new RTK 7 for worldwide use.

The technology in detail: Modular design and a high level of flexibility when installing
# An outstanding product feature of the new RTK7 is its flexibility with regard to the mounting concepts: with a width of between 900 and 1,600 millimetres, it covers all common vehicle profiles and can be adapted accordingly in 100-millimetre steps. It can be mounted via direct screwing to the vehicle roof by means of arched bases for all emergency vehicles or onto roof attachments, and also onto the roof rails of estate cars.
# The new RTK 7 is completely sealed and has a modular design. The basis of the special signalling system is a continuous aluminium carrier, onto which the modules are mounted from above. The domes can be removed from the side, the cover is removed upwards.

Thanks to the innovative, extremely low-profile housing design, the new RTK7 from Hella is a world champion when it comes to aerodynamic drag, as the cw value has been improved significantly. In comparison with the predecessor, the height has been reduced by almost a quarter, or 40 millimetres.

Economical, durable and efficient LED lighting technology
# Hella has developed high-performance, economical and durable LED flash modules with parabolic trough reflectors with a flat design as a future-oriented solution. They achieve light values, which, at 150 cd, are far in excess of the legal minimum requirements. The modular design of the flash modules and the intelligent control electronics make it possible to activate only the front- or rear-facing modules separately, if required. Moreover, the luminous intensity can be changed over to daytime or night-time operation, and the flash sequence is variable from single to quadruple flash.
# Alternatively, a rotating-mirror module with an H1 halogen bulb can also be selected for the beacons. As the bulb rotates as well, optimum luminous efficiency is guaranteed here too when on an emergency call.
# The stop-signal unit between the main beacons is implemented using matrix-LED technology and is available in three different sizes. Users can choose from defined text signals according to requirements. Additional text signals can be programmed for special applications.
# With a total of ten LEDs and a light value of more than 2,500 cd, the high-performance long-range flash unit, which emits its signal forwards, offers optimum support of fast-moving emergency vehicles. Eight LEDs emit blue light. The two lower LEDs form the red stop-signal module, with which recognition of the text signal "STOP POLICE" can be supported.
# Six amber LED running-light signal modules with day/night change-over and with eight different signal patterns serve to protect accident scenes or to direct traffic.
# For intense close-range illumination of the side areas of the vehicle, Hella has developed white alley lights each with four LEDs and a light output of 120 lm per LED.
# A worklight module, available either with LED technology or as an H9 halogen variant, provides optimum support when on call during the hours of darkness.
# Acoustic and voice signals are emitted in the system or in the engine bay via integrated loudspeakers with reduced installation dimensions.

Operation via existing controls or using a control unit
# In terms of operation, the new RTK 7 is so flexibly designed that it can be switched both with an analogue switch and, when fully electronically equipped and with intelligent control, via the high-speed CAN bus. In relation to this, it can be controlled either via a programmable control unit specially developed for this task or via the controls already present in the vehicle.

With the new RTK7 special signalling system, Hella has developed the blue-light roof bar to the extent that it has become a timeless modern classic that sets new standards and that offers perfect solutions for all requirements of the different users. In relation to this, top quality and durability are a matter of course, combined with efficient, economical lighting technology and robust electronics. The start of production of the new RTK-7 special signalling system will take place in September 2009 at Hella Plant 5 in Recklinghausen.

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