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FUTURE TECHNOLOGY


tyre pressure, temperature, wear and degradation. This information is recorded on the tablets of the Pirelli engineers after the teams correlate it with the car set up, and other telemetry, and sent to the central server. The accumulated data is


available for Pirelli’s engineers to consult in real time from the track. At the same time, the R and D division in Milan can also make full use of the information to provide analysis and future projections that are sent on to the teams. Formula One Management


Barcode scanning is an integral part of the tablet revolution in motorsport engineering


with barcode scanning capability, which could automate time consuming routine tasks. For Pirelli, it was simply a case of upgrading the systems already used in other championships. At Red Bull, the tablets were being used by the spotter, tyre specialist and the refuelling mechanic to record and compute data. The barcode scanners assisted the tyre specialist in organising the race tyres throughout the weekend, while timing and scoring provides the spotter with information to assist the driver during sessions. The refueller provided fuel data to the race engineer in real time. ‘You would not believe the


interest we had from the other guys [NASCAR teams] wondering what we have, what we do with it,’ said Chris Lambert, who worked as a spotter at RBR. ‘NASCAR itself looked at it with us. There was no keeping this a secret around the track.’ ‘We sped up the data flow


probably more than a hundred fold,’ explained John Probst, who was technical director at RBR. ‘The tyre guys said the first weekend we had the tablets at the track, it saved them 90


minutes just sorting tyres.’ For Pirelli, the tablet forms


part of what it calls the racing tyre system, or RTS – the integrated computer system it uses to collect data during tests and races. This platform, designed by


Pirelli’s Information Technology division in Milan, allows engineers to monitor the performance, wear and evolution of each tyre when it is on track. In particular, Pirelli’s RTS tracks details of the electronic ‘passport’


Even post-processing can be done on the tablet, but is more commonly done on the laptop. The server is updated with


information about every one of the company’s competition tyres (made in Izmit, Turkey) during each test session and race. The central server also stores information about the production process and quality control of every tyre at the factory, certifying its identity and providing relevant data about its characteristics. Once the tyre


“We sped up the data flow probably more than a hundred fold”


that belongs to each tyre and updates it in real time, from construction to recycling. The tablet is considered an


extension of a laptop, and gives each engineer the ability to track each tyre in each session and feed information to the servers in Milan. The tablet feeds directly to a server in the Pirelli truck, wirelessly. That is then beamed back to Milan for further study.


30 www.racecar-engineering.com • July 2012


has reached the circuit and is mounted on a wheel, the RTS collects all the information about the fitting phase and optimal tyre pressure range from when the tyre is first fitted to a rim. Other information stored includes the weight needed for balancing the tyre, as well as the dimensions and weight of the tyre when first fitted. When out on track, the car sends telemetry data relating to


(FOM), which helps the system to run by providing precise lap times for every driver, also receives data in real time from Pirelli, such as which compounds are fitted to which car. Formula One Management then sends this information out in live TV broadcasts for the public at home. With only three minutes between the tyres being fitted to the car and the start of the warm-up lap, it would be impossible to do this the old pencil and paper way. For 2012, Pirelli rolled out


an updated version of the system that will enable tyre analysis over a single sector and prescribed split times, in order to provide a complete picture of the performance of a tyre during each phase of the lap.


LATEST EVOLUTION The latest evolution of the RTS will also make it possible to compile and send final reports to each team in real time, as well as to Pirelli’s R and D division. Finally, for 2012, each tyre’s temperature will be measured at the end of every session by a pyrometer that can send instant readings to the engineers’ tablets and the central server via Bluetooth. However, the Pirelli crew still carry a pen and paper just in case!


The Mobile Demand tablet has a camera built in to it but, for both Red Bull and Pirelli, it is largely redundant as it is only a 2 megapixel unit. Pirelli therefore equips its engineers with an 8 megapixel Fujifilm point and shoot camera so they can photograph and analyse any failures and send the images, via the tablet, back to base. At


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