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Nuon Solar Team wins World Solar Challenge with help of Xsens motion tracker

9 Nov 2015

The Nuon Solar Team has won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015!

Wouter Feil of the Nuon Solar Team talks about the use of the Xsens MTi-G-700 in the Nuon8, the car that won this challenge:

During the design and construction of our newest solar racing car Nuna8, the Nuon Solar team has thankfully used the motion tracker from Xsens. To build a high performance and realiable car one needs to transform the computer design into reality with high precision. The MTi-G-700 allowed us to do just that.

At high speeds, the aerodynamic forces on the car account for a large portion of the drag. The aerodynamic resistance of Nuna8 is about the same as the side mirrors a car. This resistance is subject to the attitude of the car with respect to the driving direction. Using a long stretch of road and mounting the MTi-G-700 on Nuna8 we were able to validate the change of attitude of the car whith varying speed. With tuning the suspension settings, the designed -and optimal- attitude of the car was set at cruising speed.

Another element of designing an ultra lightweight vehicle is opposing the right forces it needs to be able to sustain without failure. These load cases are carefully selected and need to be tested. The entire suspension system is tested on a ‘dummy test vehicle’ before mounted onto the real, expensive carbon body. In order to simulate the right load cases we used the MTi-G-700 mounted on the test vehicle to see if the vehicle was moving fast enough to oppose the right accelerations. The data of the sensor is directly readable from a tablet computer and after a few iterations the suspension system passed the test and was declared safe to be mounted on Nuna8.

Using the MTi-G-700 was a pleasure. It’s high accuracy and inttutitve handling of the data is exactly what we need in a time-critical, high performance engineering project with Nuna8. We would like to thank Xsens for providing this and also the technical support they delivered. It definitely contributed to winning the 2015 World Solar Challange!

Of course, Xsens is proud of this amazing achievement. And we loved helping out the team to make this happen. We wish Nuon Solar Team good luck in the next challenge.


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