After a few months of building the carbon components of the car and assembling our Stella Era, we are finally ready to start testing our car. In this newsletter, you'll read all about what we test, how we test and major progress on preparing us for the trip to Australia!
TESTING, TESTING ... AND MORE TESTING
Before you can start testing the vehicle dynamics of the car, you'll need to perform static tests. In this picture, you see Dirk the software engineer. He's working on the embedded software of the car. Embedded software is all the software that controls the printed circuit boards that control lighting, the horn, camera systems, motors and the like. He is testing whether the software is behaving according to the specification: is it turning on the rear lights and when we drive in reverse? Do the side indicator lights turn on and off together.
After the static tests were cleared successfully, it was time for the dynamic tests! During dynamic tests you'll test whether your vehicle is responding to the proper input to the steering wheel, determine the braking distance and turning radius and measure energy statistics like energy use, energy generation by solar and by regenerative braking. You can see that Arjen, one of the drivers, is very pleased to start testing the car dynamically!
Fun fact: did you know that each registered driver has to have driven at least a few hundred kilometers with your solar car before he/she can participate during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge?
One of the most important tests is the egress test: each occupant of the solar car should be able to exit the vehicle safely within 15 seconds. Surely, we must test and train this. Here you can see that the driver and co-driver are testing exactly this. Good news: they've passed!
During a test, we need a few team members that make sure everything is running smoothly and there are no issues regarding safety. During each test, we have a Safety Officer, Battery Safety Officer and First Aid Officer that watch over each step of the test to verify that it is still safe to proceed.
One of the first dynamic tests we performed was verifying whether the car can withstand the load-cases we have designed her for. This includes the weight of the driver, co-driver and passengers. In the picture above, we are testing whether she can move and verify if we hear any odd sounds.
TESTING IN PICTURES
Images from left to right, top to bottom:
 Software engineer Dirk is verifying his software using some hardware.
 The final checks before the test plan can be executed.
 Mechanical engineer Luuk has to wait during a test procedure.
 Electrical engineers are verifying whether the car is safe.
 Marije & Pam are developing a new plan for partners and social media
 Test leader Dennis (at the left) is discussing possible scenario's with Safety Officer Jelte
 Coen is preparing for a long scrum ahead.
PREPARATION FOR AUSTRALIA
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts at the 13th of October this year and there's a lot to be done in the mean time! We are working on the final details to accommodate the complete team and the helping hands (team members from past years) that travel with us, to provide them with food and space to work!
Besides that, the biggest challenge of all is to get Stella Era and all our equipment to the other side of the world! In the previous newsletter, you may have read that the batteries were shipped. Next up is our car: Stella Era will be starting her journey from Eindhoven to Darwin from the end of August!
In the next newsletter, we'll tell you more about the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, what the change in regulations means for us and how the team is preparing for the challenge!
Even though we are closing in on the deadline to move the car to Australia, we still need help to be able to finance it all.
You can support us by means of crowdfunding. By contributing to one of the parts of the car we are currently working on you can accelerate our process, so that we can accelerate the future. We will thank all our helping hands with a surprise on their doormat.
All the contributions go directly towards enhancing the car and moving it to Australia.