Wireless telemetry for FRT racing car

OData support
Scherer Balázs Attila
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

In the world of motorsport the only difference between the first and last place might be a tenth of a second, so the engineers responsible for the performance of the racing vehicle are spending countless hours trying to squeeze the last hundreth of a second out of it. For finding the optimal settings they are analyzing all of the available data, and then they are able to determine the exact result of a modification by looking at the measured values.

In a professional racing car more than 100 individual sensors are installed, everything from the oxygen content in the exhaust through the current RPM to the acceleration is constantly measured because they can contain potentionally important informations for the onboard controlling units or the racing engineers. These sensors are usually connected to one of the internal networks of the vehicle so they are available for the data logger and for the controlling units too.

The later analyzation of the overwhelming amount of stored data can be really challenging, and there are situations where the ability of real-time monitoring the measured data can potentially prevent failures (for example, monitoring the engine coolant temperature and notifying the driver if it gets dangerously hot) too. For these purposes the development of wireless telemetry devices are constantly evolving and nowadays the engineers are able to monitor any of the installed sensors in real-time from the pit while the car is out on the track, and if it isn't forbidden by the rules, they can change important parameters too without the necessary cooperation of the driver.

During the time I have been working on my thesis, I successfully designed and realised such kind of system for the BME Formula Racing Team, which competes in the international Formula Student series with their self designed racecar. Through this document I will describe the preliminary knowledge necessary to draft this system, and then depict the steps encountered during the design and realisation.


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