Every year, we host a Gate Review presentation, where we present the design of our competition vehicle to our sponsors, industry supporters, and other stakeholders. This year's Gate Review was on March 31, and the team was incredibly happy with the turnout and feedback we received.
You can check out our slides in the link below, and you can also hear the recorded presentation with audio via AdobeConnect here. Please note that you will need to enable Adobe Flash Player before the presentation will come up at that link.
If you're short on time, the main technical improvements we focused on revolved around 4 main areas:
Increasing vehicle power
After analyzing data from our 2016 PPIHC run and noticing a pattern in recent years of experiencing less power than we design for, the team decided to focus much of our efforts this past year on identifying and fixing some of the root causes of this fairly important problem.
Improving fit and finish
Since our motorcycle in the 2016 PPIHC run performed admirably on most every account, this past year we had the opportunity to actually go through and refine systems and components throughout the bike by lightweighting, redesigning system layouts, improving fitment, and more.
Improving datalogging system reliability and functionality
Datalogging is one of the single biggest focuses of our team every year. The sensor network on each of our bikes allows us to constantly analyze the performance of all components and figure out what, if anything, is going wrong and what the root causes might be. The team has developed an extensive CAN system over the past few years, but we're always looking to make it that much better.
One of the most frustratingly tedious but vital parts of preparing for races (and testing) is balancing all of the 938 cells in our custom designed battery pack to make sure every cell starts at the same voltage. In the past we've had to do this entirely by hand, which can take many, many hours and distracts effort from other important race preparations. By designing an automated off-board battery balancing system, the team can decrease the time it takes to balance, decrease the attention we need to give to balancing, and increase the performance of the bike during the race (since a pack is only as good as its lowest cell voltage).