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Record-seeking sailboat uses Fischer connectors for sensor data transmission – March 30, 2022

The sailboat in search of records uses Fischer connectors for the transmission of sensor data

March 30, 2022


The carbon fiber SP80 boat looks like a Formula 1 car paired with a fighter jet, specially designed to glide over water, featuring a super-ventilated triangular hydrofoil and towed by a huge kite wing. “Several projects have been in the running to break the world sailing speed record for a long time,” says Mayeul van den Broek, CEO of the SP80 startup based in Renens near Lausanne in Switzerland and created in 2019 by a team of engineers. and students from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

The boat set off to reach a speed of 80 knots (148.16 km/h) propelled only by the wind and thus beat the world sailing speed record of 65.45 knots (121.21 km/h) established in 2012.

“This technological adventure is exciting because we are faced with extremely demanding physical laws. This is why our international team of almost 50 people, some of whom are finalizing the innovative design of our boat which is built in the Persico Marine shipyard in Italy, is keen to obtain the best in terms of performance. and reliability of data transmission. These technical requirements are crucial to interconnect the various sensors with which our boat and its pilot will be equipped during the launch and the boat improvement runs planned for the end of the year and the record event planned for the year. next.

The data collected by the multiple sensors and recorders monitoring the structure of the boat and the performance of the pilot will be transferred via the connectors, the associated cables and the electronic solutions of Fischer Connectors, the Swiss supplier of high performance connectivity solutions recognized worldwide for their robustness. and their resistance to demanding operating conditions such as marine and submarine, defense and security, medical and test and measurement.

“The technology partnership with Fischer Connectors is a logical step in our ambition to break records,” explains van den Broek. “The innovations we put in place to improve the aerodynamics of our boat above water and minimize the friction of its hull and foil underwater must be monitored during the development phase of the boat as well as during the speed run itself. To ensure the efficient transfer of this surveillance data, we need a solution provider that not only has expertise in signal integrity and data transmission and management, but also a holistic approach to electronic systems to to provide the required end-to-end connectivity solutions. for our detection system.

During the design phase, sensors are used to improve and control the robustness of the high-performance materials (carbon, titanium and stainless steel) of the boat’s structure. Thanks to the super-ventilated foil design, stability is optimized and the impact of cavitation – a phenomenon in which water begins to boil around the foils at extreme speeds, slowing the boat down – is avoided. During the speed run, data is collected from the various electronic modules and control sensors directly integrated into the boat and from the monitoring sensor communications between the pilot and the technical crew ashore, including biometric data transferred via sensors worn on the pilot’s body, such as vital signs and safety parameters.

“The SP80 project is exciting and inspiring,” says Jonathan Brossard, CEO of Fischer Connectors, “as it combines innovation and performance to push the limits of physical laws through unique solutions and bold concepts. A member of SP80 R&D; the team is part of our own R&D; center, making the exchange of expertise all the more efficient and easy. We look forward to the technological breakthroughs that the SP80 team is working on and that Fischer Connectors is proud to support.

The final design of the boat for the record will be unveiled to the public in spring (European) 2022. The launch of the boat will take place at the end of 2022, while the first trials are scheduled in the south of France for spring or autumn. 2023 – the two times of the year that offer the best weather conditions for sailing.

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