Spring Quarter Update

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been half a year since the last race, and that in a year we’ll be hard at work in the midst of constructing our next car. Things have been picking up in pace ever since the full team’s return this winter; spring quarter is filled with design projects, new member training, outreach, and a plethora of other exciting events.

Here are two upcoming highlights:

Open Garage Talk | Thursday May 8
Entitled “Racing Across the Outback (Without Stopping for Gas),” this is an event at VAIL, sponsored by CARS and the Revs Program at Stanford. We’ll be telling the story of building and racing Luminos, with a discussion moderated by Chris Gerdes (director of aforementioned programs). Registration is free and required in advance, found here.

TEDxStanford | Saturday May 10
Rachel Abril, our Business and Logistics Lead, will be presenting on behalf of SSCP. This is Stanford’s 3rd TEDx event, this year entitled “Above and Beyond.” Tickets are sold out (although available for Overflow), but there is a free live-stream available here.

In the realm of design projects and new member training, each subteam has had its hands full with tasks for next cycle. There is a limited amount of design work that can be done before the 2015 regulations are released, but there are plenty of other things to accomplish in preparation. The Electrical Team, for instance, has been working on projects that will improve electrical system efficiency, while the Aero Team is setting up its modeling and analysis pipelines.

More specifically, the Electrical Team is developing a DC-DC converter, as well as new low-power supplies that will allow for more efficient electrical system architecture. The former will provide a more efficient replacement for existing electronics, which are responsible for converting battery pack voltage to the lower 24V bus.

New members to the Code Team have had lots of hands-on training time with Luminos, engaging in various tasks from making LEDs blink on boards to remotely sending text messages to the steering wheel display. Also in the works is an update to our telemetry front-end.

Our Mechanical Team continues to grow, with new members taking on projects ranging from designing mounts for radios and rearview cameras, to researching thermoforming methods and polishes for a clear windscreen, to familiarization with suspension design and surface modeling in preparation for our rapidly approaching design phase.

The Array and Composites Teams continue to research and test new materials and processes for array encapsulations and layups, respectively. The Finances Team continues to solicit sponsors for the 2014-2015 cycle, while the Business Team has been hard at work preparing for TEDx and other activities.

The past 5 weeks have seen a busy event calendar for the team. The start of the quarter saw us campaigning for continued Special Fees (university funding for student groups), which we are happy to have secured for this next year. Team members thoroughly enjoyed tours of Tesla (this spring) and Mission Motors (last quarter), which both companies were kind enough to offer. We’ve presented Luminos at a variety of outreach events, ranging from a Sustainable Transportation Showcase to ASURPS to the Admit Weekend Activities Fair.

In the next few weeks we have a visit and presentation with the Volkswagen ERL in Belmont, one of our main sponsors, as well as plans for a Central Valley test drive. In the meantime, we hope to see you at TEDxStanford or our Open Garage Talk!

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