The 2017 World Solar Challenge was most certainly a leap forward for us as a team technically, personally, as well as strategically. Our new vehicle Novum pushed the boundaries of our team’s technical expertise. Our new design made the car adopt a narrow, streamlined aerodynamic design in order to leverage maximum output from our internal systems. We decided to implement a gallium arsenide array—different from the traditional silicon design with which solar cars tend to be built—in the hopes that we could utilize energy from the sun as efficiently as we possibly could. Above all, we raced with these innovations, realizing that what we were doing was uncharted territory.
Thanks to our Michigan-based partner Saturn Electronics, we were able to power through this uncharted territory with all our systems working smoothly due to the high-quality circuit boards they provide us with.
These circuit boards, printed and designed to maximum precision, allowed for Novum to be both reliable and efficient on the operational end of our vehicular design and racing, with the boards providing electronically connecting capabilities for our microelectrical systems. Our vehicle’s lighting board, horn board, steering dashboard, and battery pack, among many other components, were able to be integrated both smoothly and highly functionally into our vehicle, all thanks to Saturn’s engaging and efficient team.
While these are ubiquitous aspects to any vehicle, Saturn’s circuit boards boast an incredible level of durability, functionality, and energy efficiency which we at UM Solar value immensely.
There is always a lot going on during a race. From harsh terrain to strategic planning, a lot can happen during a race that we can’t always plan for. However, the high-quality circuit boards allow for us to save time and increase the reliability of our electric systems as their compactness, connectivity, and stability against movement make it easy for us to organize and utilize our multitude of electronic system components.
In other words, if our racers, wheels, and battery make our car move, then Saturn makes our car work. "We wouldn't have microsystems without the PCBs that Saturn provides," 2018 Microsystems Lead Brendan Adkins remarks. "That's a big deal."
From all of us at Michigan Solar Car, thank you Saturn, for your gracious and reliable support, and we are looking forward to what we can accomplish together in the future!