Scrutineering – five days before the big challenge
With the successful last testing day before scrutineering starting on October 1st, it can be concluded that the NXP Automotive Wifi 802.11p is proving its value. The Strategy team of Solar Team Eindhoven is just optimizing their algorithms in which the values of several parameters in Stella play an important role.
Aiming for highest score
Strategy’s aim is to determine the optimal speed and number of passengers at any given place during the route to maximize the number of points that will determine classification. Given the constantly changing circumstances, for example the weather, this is not an easy task and it is certainly not possible to predetermine the strategy. Therefore, two members of Solar Team Eindhoven have built up an office in the front-escort vehicle that is called, unsurprisingly, ‘Strategy’.
The MK3-nodes supplied by Cohda Wireless, and equipped with NXP-technology, play a vital role for Strategy in an ever changing world along the route. Stella is constantly sending data to the Strategy team, who drives a few seconds ahead in the convoy. The connection even works if the two cars are invisible to each other (and have no so called ‘line of sight’). In that case the NXP receiver reconstructs the original signal by combining several ‘damaged’ signals it receives through reflection via e.g. crash barriers and other cars. Without this robust data connection, the Strategy team would have to rely merely on estimates of important values such as battery charging state, the power provided by the solar panel and temperature of the motors.
This important data link, which is programmed accurately by the Software team, gives Solar Team Eindhoven a competitive advantage during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The range of the MK3-nodes is sufficient for the distance within the convoy, and in stand-still situations the reach was even almost a kilometer. Thus the technology proofs to be perfect for its purpose.
Hot, hotter, hottest
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the technology has to endure the 3000 kilometers long Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, from 6th to 13th of October. The high temperatures and desert conditions will ask a lot of Stella’s parts and the car as a whole, but the team is confident that it will survive. Solar Team Eindhoven will present the tested technology on October 15 in Adelaide in co-operation with Cohda Wireless and in the last week of October in Singapore together with NXP.