Redback Racing is UNSW's student-run Formula SAE team. The team designs, constructs and races a small open wheel race car against other universities in the annual Australasian Formula SAE competition. Although initially started as a Mechanical Engineering project, the team now contains members from a wide range of programs including Computer Science, Commerce and Industrial Design.
Terence is a third year Mechanical Engineering / Computer Science student and has been a part of the team since his first year.
This year, as co-head of suspension, Terence is conducting complex analysis of vehicle dynamics in order to better the car’s drivability and performance. Programs such as Matlab use scripts written by the team which performs such calculations.
“...technology has manifested itself into nearly all aspects of our lives.”
Systems like traction control and launch control are being developed for the car. These systems require electronic devices to control the wheel spin and engine power of the car, allowing maximum performance whilst maintaining drivability.
In 2012 Ian developed a simple web-based version control system to maintain the 3D CAD model of the car.The goal of the system was to improve communication within the team by making information easily accessible to every team member. It now manages over a thousand components from three unique cars.
Ian is a fourth year Mechatronic Engineering / Computer Science student. This year he’s moved away from the technical side of the team to take up the position of Deputy Team Leader.
“Students not only get real, hands on experience, but also an opportunity to build the leadership skills that give them a head start for their future.”
Custom Data Logger Project
Redback requires a data logger to track engine temperatures, driver performance and many other factors to determine if components are working correctly and test driver skill. A group of enthusiastic engineering students from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering have taken the initiative to build a data logging solution for the team using off the shelf electronics and a variety of hardware and software skills.
The project requires the students to research and understand various technologies and solutions available in the electronics world (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone) or even very specific chips (AVR, ARM) and try to create a hardware solution to log data from various sensors as well as provide a software interface so that the team can view the logged data. This project thoroughly encompasses many areas of computing from basic electrical aspects such as signal conditioning to computer graphics and socket programming for the software interface and logging.