The project is an attempt to build a low-cost, high learning curve, open source, many involved, great exposure of an idea to reality by self development rather than buy off the shelf. The team (powerboat youth racing team) races and is succesful in doing so. Most sponsor funds go into the hardware, travel and such cost. Little left for R&D (as usual). Yet, the step to a higher class requires more data acquisition and analyzing to allow for a smart development to go faster.
Some information: speeds exceed 100KMH, distance to shore up to 5000m, boat bounces 3D, Engine can be trimmed, steering wheel angles the whole engine (outboard) and the pilot is in a somehwat closed cabin.
The project steps:
basis: Arduino Mega (got it)
first step: GPS data logger to SD card (got it, GPS shield from iteadstudio)
next step: add sensors such as:
axis, angle of the boat
accelleration in various directions
position of engine trimmer
position of steering wheel
and then: send the whole data everytime the boat gets in range of the base (pitlane)
Got the GPS data logger working. Data also used for plotting on a map.
Combination of GPS data and a temp/humid sensor also worked. Though not in the way I want:
Early in the project I'd like to have a datalog file that starts with the timestamp and then a lot of columns with sensor data. Simply because I think that's the easiest to analyse in various common software like excel and to convert to anything needed for other software.
My thought is that when a sensor is added, the datalog simply gets an additional column.
That requires a smart way to construct the sketch and there I haven't started yet.
What I'd like is to build a prototype with simple software that does the above. With this proof of concept I can ask the sponsors for funds to have a professional programmer redo the software to make it smaller, faster, more reliable and so on.
My question to you: any thoughts, tips, links, or even programming skills to help out. In return of course you'll feel as proud as I am to get it all to work and to support this program to bring up young people to higher levels. And your name on the boat, if you like