The power to stay connected
The World Solar Challenge is a biennial, solar-powered car race across the Australian Outback from Darwin to Adelaide. For much of the 3,021kms (1,877 miles) this desert zone lacks even basic facilities such as electricity or cellular communications. So a reliable mobile satellite link is the only way the teams can exchange data in real-time about the changing road and race conditions.
Solar Team Twente
Sixteen engineering students from the University of Twente and Saxion in the Netherlands competed in the Challenger Class of the prestigious World Solar Challenge. The team’s cutting-edge solar powered vehicle – The RED Engine – was sponsored by Inmarsat and equipment manufacturer Cobham
, providing vital mobile satellite communications and on-the-ground support both in Holland and Australia. During the race, The RED Engine was wirelessly linked to a support team in a control vehicle following behind. They received live telemetry from the The RED Engine to enable them to modify their race strategy to match the changing environmental conditions. Team Twente: www.solarteam.nl
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan was the second team competing in the world’s toughest solar-powered endurance race to be supported by Inmarsat. Inmarsat’s BGAN service enabled the race team to communicate and share data between team members in Australia and in Michigan, while at the same time keeping fans, friends and families up-to-date on their progress. The University of Michigan’s World Solar Car Team is an entirely student-run organisation, which designs and builds solar electric vehicles. Since its establishment in 1990, the team has built 11 vehicles, won the American Solar Challenge seven times and has achieved third place in the World Solar Challenge four times. University of Michigan: solarcar.engin.umich.edu
Inmarsat also supported our partner, JSAT Mobile Communications, in co-operation with manufacturer Addvalue Technologies, to sponsor the Kogakuin University Solar Car Project Team. JSAT Mobile Communications provided the students of Kogakuin University with reliable, high-quality Inmarsat BGAN and IsatPhone Pro services throughout the race – keeping them in touch in real time with the support vehicles. The mobile satellite links allowed team members to update their supporters, families and the media in Japan as the race unfolded.