Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Update from Chase

As I ride along in Chase for the last stretch of the rayce, I would like to take a few minutes to thank all of our team sponsors, especially those who help my Division: Strategy.

Computational power is one of the greatest tools of Michigan Strategists. During the race Strategists run simulations to help determine the optimal speed to run Continuum. A special thanks to Acer America, Computer Builder's Warehouse, Red Barn Computers, Intel, and CAEN for providing the team with laptops, desktop computers and servers for the race.

One of the keys to Michigan's success race strategy is accurate GPS and route information. Topcon provided the team with GPS equipment, which in conjunction with a correction service from OmniStar was used to gather sub-meter accurate data for the entire race route. This helped us plan ahead and save extra energy in the battery for those nasty hills.

Software Development
For this race, Michigan Strategists used mainly MATLAB and Visual Studio for software development. A special thanks to The MathWorks and Microsoft for providing licenses for their respective software suites.

Computer Peripherals

Even with the fanciest computer and superb software tools, it is difficult to run a race without all of the small computer peripherals and accessories. Cables Unlimited, Alternative Wireless, Targus and Sewell Direct helped provide the team with top of the line products including Serial-USB adapters, cellular antennas, laptop power cords, portable harddrive enclosures and other such things.

Another key to Michigan's successful strategy is detail testing of Continuum. Testing was done on both a system and vehicle level. A special thanks to Carlisle Belts for providing timing pulleys and belts and Visteon for donating a dynamometer to the team; both were used to characterize Continuum's new CSIRO motor last summer. Performance of Continuum was characterized on Dana's and Chrysler's test tracks and at Michigan International Speedway. Continuum has also recently visited Jacobs' and Chrysler’s wind tunnels. This testing was essential for Michigan Strategists to understand the performance of Continuum; it enabled us to drive fast without worrying (too much) about draining the battery back.

Wireless Communication
Continuum utilizes Motorola’s MESH technology to wirelessly transfer data from Continuum to Lead and Chase. Michigan Strategists monitor telemetry data from Continuum throughout the race and compare its performance to their predictive models. MESH worked flawlessly for the team this NASC.

Unfortunately due to my poor internet connection crossing the Canadian prairie, I am unable to post pictures right now.

Head Strategist

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Alex --

How does the Caflor Industries gps fit into scheme? (I've really appreciated the gps website the team has given us access to the last couple days.)

Thanks for the updates and to your sponsors from a grateful alum!


July 22, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Dowling said...

Sorry about that... I knew I forgot someone.

A special thanks to Caflor. In addition to GPS tracking, they have also provided the team with other resources such as testing facilities (chassis dyno.)

July 22, 2008 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Wisniewski said...

Thank you for recognizing our company. Being a Continuum sponsor has been an extremely rewarding experience.
Dean T. Wisniewski
Visteon Corporation

July 22, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

Seagate was also a big help - the team has an absurd amount of storage available.

July 22, 2008 at 3:08 PM  

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