1. Basic  |  2. Elements of DCS  |  3. DCS  |  4. Windows  |  5. Unix  |  6. Software  |  7. Informatics in Practice  |  8. Glossary  |  9. Appendix  |  10. Bibliography  |  11. Links  |  12. Index

7.10. Formula 1 (F1)

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 F1 The vehicle industry is a growing share of electronic devices that are by their nature are basically computers, sensors or actuators. The sensors provide data to the computer, which in turn based on the received data managed by mechanical processes through actuators. The computer has become an essential part of modern cars, which certainly makes a huge improvement, but it also requires trained personnel for their service. Sure that such computers are adequately protected from the heat, dust, water and moisture; environment that is not even close to a home computer environment. Therefore, the computer components built into the cars must be technologically advanced and stable to user safety car was unquestionable, and at a very high level. Sophisticated way to use computers and other electronic devices in the car is most evident in the design and construction of racing cars 'Formula 1' (F1). F1 racing car is very sophisticated vehicle, which has an average of over 50'000 different parts, and the vehicle itself is compiled with an accuracy of 100%. That would mean that in preparing an accuracy of 99.9% came out onto the track with over 50 defective parts and score the race would be very doubtful despite the use of sophisticated computer technology. In addition to the description of this page describes the principle of operation of computer systems in a race car on the example of a racing car 'McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27'.

Group companies 'McLaren' includes making cars for the F1 race, making and selling cars and general purpose group for the electronic equipment and software (McLaren Electronics Systems). With regard to the last mentioned work closely with the company 'Microsoft'. What they do, circuits and devices are advanced technology, which is not limited to Formula 1, but are used in the aero industry, marine, medical, as well as home entertainment purposes. Therefore, advanced technology, little by little take place in the devices that we use every day. There are many useful products that are used in the industry even though they can be the first application had in racing. Regarding F1 devices used may be generally classified into four groups:

Formula 1 season in 2008. year will be remembered as the beginning of a rapid growth in the use of computers, sensors and controllers and devices in race cars with significant research and development resources to the use of standardized components and infrastructure, and its multitude of innovations. Each F1 team has networked and use standardized circuits for electronic control unit (ECU - Electronic Control Unit). This is made possible by the partnership between firms the 'McLaren Electronic Systems' (MES) and the 'Microsoft' resulting from the contract with the FIA (Federation Interationale de l'Automobile), the international institution which is the regulatory body for all car racing world championships. Although the apparatus called the 'standard', the ECU is actually a very sophisticated system that will have a key role in developing the car of the future, both in cars and in racing cars for everyday use. Elements of the system designed to monitor the performance race car 'McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27' is shown in Figure 7.10.1a.

 ECU system
Figure* 7.10.1 Network System of Formula 1 / Some of the key devices. ( +/- )

What marks 7.10.1a image is a two-way radio link between the car and the system network that connects computers members of a racing team, which means that in addition to collecting data remotely via wireless to automatically make the necessary adjustments on the car - TELEMETRY. With the driver of car working his 'race engineer' who informs driver about the state of the car and suggests actions that would be useful to take. In Figure 7.10.1b shows the most commonly used electronic components and devices. From the shape of each component can be seen that the shape of the components completely different and meant for general, more resistant to external influences and electronic components that are used in production last much rigorous controls in relation to products intended for wider use.

Today's Formula 1 has built between 150-300 sensors and actuators for various purposes, and ECU system processes data. During the race processed 100-200 kB of data in one second, which in one week, including training and the race itself, is the total volume of data from approximately 100 GB or more picturesque 250 DVDs. During the year assembled the 2-3 TB of data and consequently 5000 DVDs. Application ECU system essentially means the development and processing of data. Data gathering sensors (converters mechanical quantities into electrical), potentiometers (mechanical position converters into electrical data) and actuators (converters electrical source into mechanical displacement). Of course, all computer-controlled, which suggests that the development of software very important. In Figure 1.10.1b shows only a part of these electronic components and devices. Figure 7.10.2a shows the principle of their work.

 ECU control scheme
Figure* 7.10.2 Schematic representation of driving / Engine. ( +/- )    

Very simplified overview of the use of computers and electronic devices is shown in Figure 7.10.2a, that shows an example of the regulation of fuel supply in accordance with the accelerator pedal, which the course of events as follows; potentiometer attached to the accelerator pedal sends data to the computer, who compares the present situation, which is read as part of a potentiometer for fuel, and an actuator in accordance with the changes made necessary mechanical setting of fuel injection until the data of potentiometer and actuator are not matched. Analog values produced by sensors and potentiometers are repackaged into digital records for the purposes of sending data by wireless to racing team.

Reading speed and various adjustments made using driver using the display panel and switches incorporated into the steering wheel, as shown in Figure 7.10.2b, and its activities are sent to the computer that performs the necessary actions regarding adapting the engine, clutch use, speed change, limiting the speed gain entry in 'boxing' (pit-stop) to replace the tire, use KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), and performing some other specific tasks. KERS is a system of batteries that collect energy from braking and adds to her over the motors and gear systems operating system with regard to increasing the total available drive power. KERS enables increased propulsion power for approximately 60 kW to 560 kW of existing engine that achieves 'Mercedes-Benz FO 108Z' shown in the top image 7.10.2b. The engine has a displacement of 2.4 liters, eight cylinders arranged in a ' ' shape with four cylinders in each branch and four valves per cylinder and can reach up to 18'000 rpm (revolutions per minute). It weighs just 95 kg and is made of lightweight but resistant aluminum alloy. Behind the engine shown in Figure 7.10.2b, followed clutch, gearbox and differential to transfer power the rear wheels, as suggested scheme in Figure 7.10.2a. Of course, all monitors by computer. Times when drivers are mechanical handle changing speed at no-synchronized gearboxes by 'ear' to setting the speed of the motor in accordance with the current track conditions, and thereby know and get a blister changing speeds (on the track in Monte Carlo speed changes up to 3500 times during the race) was concluded.

Formula 1 cars are the highest class of car at all and practically used the endurance limit of available technology. Although computers have long been used in the design and optimization of complex items, the car, the key innovation is the ECU system, which collects data from sensors cars and wirelessly sends data to the support team. FIA chose ECU solution developed 'McLaren Electronics' and 'Microsoft' and provided that the same solution available to all teams. ECU monitors all aspects of the developments on the car and collect lots of data via embedded sensors. Modern electronics ensures that all monitors in real time, with no time delay, taking into account all aspects of the condition of the car, as well as training, racing, stopping for tire changes and refueling, or stay in the garage. ATLAS server on said data must be collected and distributed to all the team and provide a 'racer engineer' almost instantly-available information regarding their analysis and decision making. In addition, if for some reason all the data they could immediately convey, for example due to limited bandwidth of radio system, on arrival at the car replacement tires in the garage or missing data can be directly taken from the car and modify data stored on the server.

'McLaren Electronics' and 'Microsoft' working on the technology for use in F1 have concluded that the quantity and quality of ECU data so valuable that it is therefore necessary to use storage solution that is simpler and faster, and download telemetry data is particularly highly developed effective files. In addition data were available to other software tools such as 'Excel' with standard database access (ODBC - Open Database Connectivity) and enabled the Object Linking and Embedding DataBase (OLEDB) without having an understanding of the file formats that are used. It effectively uses a large number of data is the reason of using 'SQL Server 2008' servers.

The solution uses a peculiarity of data processing logic separate processes, so-called 'multi-tier' architecture, which includes:

Typically, daily computer user, especially at home, uses a lot of unstructured data such as text documents, images and videos. These are often the data is stored outside the database, which can cause the complexity of their use, especially with regard to speed data access. However, if the data is structurally linked through a database and stored in the form of compressed binary files, the use of a series of such stored data resulting in better performance when using them in a network environment - FILESTREAM.

A very small section of the ATLAS system monitors the user a set of images illustrates 7.10.3.

 Views of ATLAS software - first example
Figure* 7.10.3 ATLAS software solution. ( +/- )

The Figure clearly shows that the vast amounts of data that need specialized expertise regarding their interpretation.


Thus, monitoring of the car and making the right decisions based on the data transmitted from the sensor, regardless of whether the decision was made by a man or a computer, basic to successful 'driving' modern Formula 1 racing car. What already mentioned controlled sensors and actuators?

Some examples, sensor pressure (nitrogen) in tires, air pressure sensor when setting the engine valves, tank condition, temperature protection, tilt sensor wheel, control engine crankshaft rotation, voltage fuel injectors, oxygen sensor, the sensor in the gearbox shifts gears sensor, the sensor of clutch, clutch hydraulic pressure, lateral acceleration, longitudinal acceleration, actuator for regulating the hydraulic pressure, gas engines, state of the accelerator, hand controls, choice of manual or computer control, front brake pressure, the rear brake pressure, mode in the garage monitoring the ignition switch, the speed of rotation of each wheel, engine oil pressure, transmission oil pressure, oil level, the amount of transmission oil, coolant pressure, fuel pressure, fuel, tire temperature, oil temperature in the gearbox and engine, the temperature in the cooling system, fuel temperature, exhaust gas temperature in each branch, etc.

Indeed it is a very large 'stack' of that mentioned above is just a small part.


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Radic, Drago. " IT - Informatics Alphabet " Split-Croatia. {Date of access}. <http://www.informatics.buzdo.com/>.
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