MUR Motorsports 2021E/D FSAE Concept Vehicle

MUR Motorsports is an Australian Formula SAE team competing in the Formula SAE-A competition. Our design team comprises final year Master of Engineering students, with aid from both younger engineering students, as well as students from any discipline wishing to help. Our project is to design, manufacture, manage, and market a single seater, electric race car for the FSAE-A competition.


At MUR Motorsports we aim to innovate for the future of the automotive industry. With the progression from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles that are both more internally connected as well as interconnected the use of customised PCB's are an integral part of our upcoming electric racecar.


Having competed in the FSAE-Australasia competition since 2000 and completing the first design cycle of an electric version in 2017 we have experience running in the team, but plenty of potential for further improvements in the new technology. While the 2020 design cycle was fraught with disaster due to lockdowns 2021 aims to advance the design principles and promote testing and validation for future cycles.


PCB Usage


Essential safety features in the vehicle are amalgamated and processed on custom PCBs which allow for useful signals to be sent to the central control unit of the car (Motec M150). Critical safety of an electric vehicle includes features such as plausibility of brake sensors, isolation testing between high voltage and low voltage systems (400V vs 12V), and fault detection in both the battery management system and control unit.



While safety has always been important, and a key feature of the PCBs used on the vehicle the extended design and test cycle has allowed for further data acquisition and validation of design to be a key component of this years’ team. As such the pre-processing of large amounts of sensor data on custom PCBs is of importance. Sensors featuring in the 2021E design include strain gauges for torque measurements, linear potentiometers for the suspension system, and wheel speed sensors for performance improvements in launch control.


Future


While the E car is still in its infancy the team has begun to shift focus towards the next big step in the automotive industry, automation, and driverless technology. With 18 months of design and simulation behind the autonomous team, incorporation onto the actual vehicle is the next step. Firstly, with a driver in the vehicle taking measurements with cameras and lidars to eventually letting the car free to drive around the track on its own.


Sensors processing and amalgamation are hence vital to be completed on a custom PCB. While mechanical actuation also requires signals top be routed and processes, such as the high-pressure piston driven acceleration and braking activation.


With limited resources and funding MUR2021E will become MUR2022D and so the design and delivery of the electric racecar will be compatible with post manufacture driverless adaptation.


PCBWay


With the help of PCBWay the manufacture of these subsystems will be easily delivered, and the critical pathway of the concept vehicle adhered to. This will also allow for us to perform extensive testing on the vehicle through sensor measurements at track days and on the dynamometer, aiding in the future design of systems and assurance that our vehicle will be ready to win competition!

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Jul 22,2021
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