After being the only team to complete scrutineering yesterday, today was considerably more laid back, but it was not without things to do. In the morning, several team members attended a safety meeting to get a refresher on first aid and to make sure that we are being as safe as possible during the race.
In the meantime, the electrical team was busy building backup boards and ensuring that everything on the car was working up to our standards; sometimes barely meeting the rules is just not enough. This included building a new driver interface board and tweaking the battery protection for more reliable operation.
Our strategy team is also hard at work developing the suite of tools that we will use to determine how fast to go at any given time. Headed up by Tyler and Konrad, they have been painstakingly developing models of every possible aspect of the car so we can accurately predict its behavior.
The remainder of the day was marked by team members walking around the pits familiarizing themselves with other teams and offering our services to them to help them qualify for the race. After all, what fun would it be if we were the only team racing? We have especially been helping out our pit neighbors Oregon State University, a first-time solar car team that was funded out of the team members' pockets; we really admire their team members' dedication. Sam helped Illinois State (who a purchased our 2001 car Borealis I for the 2005 race) debug their motor controller. We have also been in close contact with our other pit neighbors and good friends Principia College.
Andrew helps Oregon State to make sure they're ready for Mechanical scrutineering
Photo Credit: David Towey
Unfortunately, our day was cut short by a line of thunderstorms rolling through about dinnertime. Thanks to our strategy team, we were well-advised of the weather and were able to put our car away before the storm hit. We elected not to risk damaging our car, since all the small projects we are currently working on are not time-critical and should be finished in time for the qualifier. As far as we know, we are still the only team that is fully scrutineered.
We are looking forward tomorrow to possibly get Centaurus out on the track to have our drivers run a few laps and shake down the car before qualifying begins on Thursday.
--David Towey, Crew Chief