The Bloodhound Project, an attempt to smash the world land speed record and get young people excited about science, technology and engineering (STEM) subjects into the bargain, has announced it is teaming up with technology giant Oracle to collect, analyze and broadcast data from more than 500 sensors installed on the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC).
The project is the vision of Richard Noble, a man with an impressive track record in high-risk ventures. He was the brains behind the Thrust2 program that brought the world land speed record back to Britain in 1983, as well as the ThrustSSC first-ever supersonic land speed record program in 1997, which saw driver Andy Green reach a speed of 763 miles per hour in the Nevada desert.
Now, Noble’s set his sights on hitting 1,000 miles per hour on land, to set a new world land speed record. This record is regulated by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA for short. The organization is strict in its definition of a ‘land vehicle’. It must be a “vehicle propelled by its own means in constant contact with the ground (or ice), either directly by mechanical means or indirectly by ground effect, and the motive power and steering system of which are constantly and entirely controlled by a driver on board the vehicle.”
Super Sonic Car
The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC) is engineered to fit that description – with the added advantage of being fitted with more than 500 sensors that report on its condition and performance.
This is important, because Noble is aiming to do more than just break records. The data collected from these sensors will be provided to classrooms around the world, giving students an insight into the technologies behind the world’s fastest land vehicle as it rockets towards 1,000 miles per hour.
The work of capturing their imagination is already under way. The Bloodhound Project has already become a leading STEM resource in UK education, having been showcased to over 100,000 pupils in UK schools already. Millions more are engaged worldwide, the Project claims, and the number is expected to soar when the car begins track tests in Newquay, Cornwall in October this year, in pursuit of its first goal of hitting a more modest 200 miles per hour.
According to Noble: “The aviation and space races of the 1960s inspired a wave of young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, and our hope is that Bloodhound will do the same at a time where technical skills are in painfully short supply.”
“We want students to feel that they are right there with us as we chase 1,000 miles per hour, and by working with Oracle, we’ll be able to deliver on that promise.”
Bloodhound sniffs out Oracle
As the Bloodhound Project’s new cloud partner, Oracle is providing much of the back-end infrastructure needed to slice and dice the data collected from the car’s sensors and share it with budding engineers and scientists in schools.
But this technology also serves a critical role in the world record attempt itself. With a real-time view of how different components are performing, the Bloodhound team will be able to quickly spot and address any technical issue on the car’s test runs.
They will be using Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Services as the platform for data analysis, which will inform ongoing car design and engineering services. Other Oracle Cloud software products will be used to render data visualizations that enable educators and students to manipulate and repackage the data in new ways. Artificial intelligence, meanwhile, will be used to determine whether the results of the team’s engineering and design simulations prove accurate in real-life, on-track situations.
Said John Abel, Oracle’s Bloodhound Project lead: “The Bloodhound Project is about moving fast in more ways than one. The team’s engineers will need fast data and even faster insights to fine-tune what is a unique, prototype vehicle pushing the limits of computer design and materials technology. Our solutions will provide the foundation for these insights over the next two years.”
Other Bloodhound Project partners include Castrol, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Nammo, MTN, Rolex and Rolls Royce.