Friday, September 28, 2007

Mock Race Update 4

The race crew has returned to Adelaide after a long mock race and what an amazing experience it was. 2,009 kilometers of testing over 5 days on the Stuart Highway. It's safe to say that we learned more in the past 5 days of testing than we have during any other time with Continuum. With 666 kilometers remaining on our planned mock race course, it's ironic that our testing was cut short due to our encounter with what's conventionally called a dust devil.

Though damage to Continuum was minor, our engineers did not want to risk making delicate repairs with such limited resources in the outback. Once repairs are completed later today, we'll begin cleaning and tuning Continuum before additional testing early next week.
Since words can't capture experiences in the outback, here are a few images from our testing last week:

(Above) The Stuart Highway is a very long, very flat, very straight road. Our mock race looked mostly like this for hundreds of kilometers at a time.

(Above) The road surface is VERY rough and unforgiving. We learned this the hard way in 2005.

(Above) These are two of the 6 vehicles we drove during mock race. The Holden Adventura LX8 on the left is our weather vehicle with the weather fixture lovingly called the "Thunder Box." The Holden Rodeo on the right is our scout vehicle.

(Above) This Holden Captiva is our chase vehicle, bearing the all important "Caution: Solar Vehicle Ahead" sign required of all teams. This is the center of our support crew operation and is filled to the brim with computers, radios, and Wolverines.

(Above) The race passes through a series of 30-minute control stops along the race route. This is a picture of the race crew charging Continuum at the Glendambo control stop.

(Above) Continuum ready to hit the road at Port Augusta control stop.

(Above) Continuum being taped up at the Cadney Homestead control stop

(Above) We deploy our semi trailer evening morning and evening to help give everyone the resources they need to maintain and repair the car.

(Above) When he's not busy predicting and creating the weather, Nate Lehman lends a hand wherever he can. Here he's sewing wheel covers for Continuum. We saw roles blending more and more as the days of mock race progressed.

All race activities are spent on the open road and away from many of the creature comforts we're all accustomed to. Long days of racing, long nights of work, no showers, and rocky ground will wear you thin after a week on the road.
(Above) Chris Hammond from the electrical division looked especially tired.

(Above) Jeff Ferman with the strategy division was strangely and consistently energetic.

(Above) Gerald Giarmo with the electrical division.

(Above) Sarah Napier with the electrical division. Keep in mind that it was 50 degrees F out in the morning.

(Above) Steve Hechtman from the micro electrical division is also one of our three drivers.

(Above) Brooke Bailey and Deanna O'Clair from our operations division cleaned dishes every morning.
(Above) Kristine Cramer from our mechanical division.

(Above) Nate Lehman with our strategy division.

This was a great test run for the Continuum team. The next few weeks will be packed with repairs, practice, and improvements that will build off of the experience we gathered over the last week. We've already completed more pre-race test miles than any of the past three Michigan teams so we're excited to hit the road in Darwin next month.
Go Blue!



Blogger Michael Adams said...

These pictures are giving me flashbacks....Car looks great, though, and good thing that dust devil didn't get the better of you all. We had a scare on Momentum that turned out to be nearly nothing as well. (Wal-Mart parking lot, Austin, Mock Race. Scary stuff) Keep posting pics!

October 1, 2007 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous TC Lambert said...

Looked at Team Nuon's website. Seems like they claim they have the best solar cells, the best solar array, the best solar car, they always win and always will, and they love Ohio State. Okay, my Netherlandish is a little rusty, or perhaps imaginary is the better word. If anyone knows Dutch, I'd be interested to know what their blog actually says.

The Nuna4 looks pretty slick. Two wheels in front, one in back, canopy way in the back. Rear wheel fairing looks fatter than the others. Could they be using rear-wheel steering? With the canopy that far back, how can they see the road in front of the car? Do they have a video camera for close-up work? Most of the array is on the front half of the car. Do they expect the sun to be mostly ahead of them during racing hours? Seems like in Australia's springtime between 12.5 degrees south latitude and 35 degrees south latitude, the sun would be mostly behind the cars as they drive south.

-TC Lambert

October 2, 2007 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous TC Lambert said...

Oh, and love the pictures. Could someone do me a favor and throw Doug in front of a camera? His mom and I would love to see him. You can probably find Doug under the car. He'll be the one with the filthiest shirt.

October 2, 2007 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Love the photos.. very cool.

November 19, 2007 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Pock said...

Wow, what a great collections of pictures.
I really like them dude.
You really did hard work for placing them on right places.

really cool man.

July 27, 2008 at 3:03 AM  
Anonymous auto parts addict said...

loved the photos in there! personally, solar car was a genius creation nowadays. keep up the good work!

September 17, 2008 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Headlight cleaner said...

Great pictures of the cars. I wonder when this technology will be more available to consumers for both their cars and their houses. This would dramatically alter carbon output and at the same time save big on fuel costs, heating costs, etc... Could you imagine a time when the average vehicle gets 50 mpg? How about 75 or 100?

Now as to the cars - what about safety equipment that is currently required on our roads like 10 mph bumpers, headlights, etc...? Will these safety features and their added weight greatly alter the performance of these vehicles?

October 30, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

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