GT Solar Racing

2018 ~ Present | ** Previous experience with this team is required ** American Solar Challenge, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, SGA, Delta Tech Ops, Boeing, FedEx, Ford, GM, Marand, SBM Solar, etc.

Goals

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TEAM IS REQUIRED

To design and build a solar powered vehicle to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix, an endurance based track race, and the American Solar Challenge, a cross-country road race.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Solar powered race cars are ultra-efficient electric land vehicles capable of traveling across entire continents at highway speeds on a single battery charge. Their design and operation represent one of the most unique and challenging problems of systems optimization and cross-country logistics as the vehicles are designed to race in environments ranging from the American Midwest to the Australian Outback. GTSR focuses primarily on speed-based vehicles, known as the Challenger class, and competes in the American Solar Challenge.

Overall, the goal is to optimize speed per power: to achieve the fastest velocities for the least amount of power cost. To do this requires both depth and breadth of knowledge across multiple STEM and non-STEM fields. The overall team is broken into five divisions with subteams that dig deeper into each facet of the vehicle’s design. They are:

  • Mechanical à Aerobody, Brakes & Pedals, Frame (Chassis), Steering, and Suspension.
  • Electrical à Drivetrain, Batteries, Solar, Telemetry, and Auxiliary Systems.
  • Business - Acquires and manages sponsors for the team and oversees budget planning.
  • Outreach - Coordinates the team’s physical presence at displays and media online.
  • Race Operations - Plans the race and coordinates team logistics for drive tests.

Members can tackle technical & non-technical problems in-depth such as streamlined aerodynamics, space frame design, solar array design & fabrication, battery protection systems, CAN communication, welding (TIG/MIG), carbon fiber/fiberglass layup, long-range telemetry, human-machine interface design, structural analysis, suspension design & analysis, controller design, battery balancing, and more.

Methods and Technologies

  • Advanced Systems Optimization
  • Aerodynamic Analysis & CFD
  • CAD/FEA
  • CAM/Advanced Machining
  • Composite Structures & Construction
  • Solar Array Design
  • Battery Management Systems
  • Lithium-ion Battery Packs
  • Microcontrollers
  • Circuit Board Design

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Global Development
  • IT Management
  • Leadership and Organizational Change
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization
  • Analytics
  • Computational Media
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • OMSCS asynchronous
  • OMSCS asynchronous, case-by-case
  • OMSCS synchronous
  • OMSCS synchronous, case-by-case
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Systems Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Health Systems
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Logistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Physics
  • Robotics
  • Applied Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

ME – Background/interest in CAD/FEA, frame and suspension design, steering system design, human machine interfacing, brakes/pedals integration, computer aided manufacturing, welding, composite manufacturing (carbon & fiberglass), tribology, and designing of parts for high-endurance use.

AE/MSE – Vehicle aerodynamics (3-D streamlined vehicles), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), composites manufacturing, vehicle stability, and thermal analysis.

EE/CmpE/CS - Background/interest in embedded hardware design, microcontrollers, multilayered circuit board design, programming (C, C++, Python, Matlab), high voltage battery pack design, electromagnetic induction motors, power protection, data acquisition & telemetry.

BA/MGMT/IE – Background/interest in corporate relations, sponsorships, networking, design presentations, project management, public relations, social media, finance.

CM – Background/interest website design, graphic design, videography, photography.

All Majors – Design of ultra-efficient & high-endurance land vehicles, advanced machining techniques, additive manufacturing, vehicle testing, project management, carbon fiber layups, networking and sponsorship, shop management, vehicle and race simulation, testing procedures, driving practice, and trans-continental racing logistics.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Time 
5:00-5:50
Meeting Location 
Love 210
Meeting Day 
Monday

Team Advisors

Dr. David Smith
  • Mechanical Engineering

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

** Previous experience with this team is required ** American Solar Challenge, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, SGA, Delta Tech Ops, Boeing, FedEx, Ford, GM, Marand, SBM Solar, etc.

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