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MARCH SUM-UP

March, another way to make your day. Only three months until the competition and, despite the endless Canadian winter, the team is still active to carry out its different projects:

🖌 DESIGN

  • Achievements: Designing work for R3.5 is completed! The climbing ladder has been dimensioned to bear important charges whilst having the optimal shape/minimal weight. Its validated final design required flax fiber reinforced beams prototypes subjected to numerous mechanical tests. In parallel, R4 design is progressing well. Tests on materials (composite flax fiber / Elium thermoplastic resin) have provided fresh data for the designing of the new hull and parts expected to use flax reinforcements. A simplified DVPP (Dynamic Velocity Prediction Program) has also been developed to forecast the behavior of our concept boat.
     

  • Work in progress: Following the acquisition of a used sail for R3.5 and the redesign of our ladders, some parts of our rigging (like the boom vang) are being revised and redesigned while keeping in mind the necessity of interchangeability with the old ladders/sail. The male mast/male base issue is being resolved by designing a new female, easy use and 3D printed (with a flexible polyurethane filament) mast base. R4 hull design is almost ready. The analysis of its generated drag/lift with flow simulation is in progress while starting a finite element analysis (behavior under physical effects) on the hull’s structure.
     

  • Future goals: Next great step for Rafale 4 will concern the hull’s mold design and manufacturing followed by the latter’s infusion.

 

🛠 MANUFACTURING

 

  • Achievements: If the hull took an extended spring break, it is not the case with the whole boat. As the material mechanical properties have been estimated with normed tests, the manufacturing of complex assemblies of flax fiber infused with PMMA thermoplastic resin is now established. The optimized shape of the ladder is currently being processed and some great results over the quality and the performances of the vegetal laminates have been obtained.
     

  • Work in progress: The fabrication of the final pieces of the climbing ladder are being manufactured and mastered with the help of industrial/academic partners. The team is confident in the schedule and those technical parts will be fully realized and adjusted by the end of April.      
     

  • Future goals: Next step for April and May will be to implement the new ladders with the modified hull, install the new rigging design and sail and adjust all the details in order to try it in May.

 

💻 EMBEDDED SYSTEM

  • Achievements: A database to archive the collected data has been set up with an associated REST API to facilitate access to the data for future analysis and use. Following that, work has been done on the demonstrator race display software to make it more than a demonstrator with no actual functionality. It is now able to read and display data for the rig tension sensors as numbers, graphs and even moving arrows on an image of the prototype. This has put in place the groundwork for all the other data and sensors to be displayed easily. The main onboard system’s data connection has been upgraded from a mostly inefficient and non-working LoRa connection to a cellphone one, directly connected to the internet.           
     

  • Work in progress: The addition of rig tension sensors to the system is in its final design phases and will be on our Moth by this summer since only some programming and a few adjustments remain. In parallel, work has started on designing a new GPS module that would be physically independent of the main onboard system and thus could be installed anywhere. Finally, the integration of all the currently available data and sensors to the race display software will be done by June, including a new wind meter that has been recently acquired.                
     

  • Future goals: It’s time to look towards Rafale 4 enhancement for its electronic system. Projects on the table concern redesigning, as a custom circuit board, the main onboard system. As well as implementing RTK GPS capabilities for greater accuracy and adding yet more sensors as deemed helpful. Some work to the race display software is also on the table.

 

📞 COMMUNICATION

Communication is a full-time and continuous occupation; a lot of parallel tasks have been done to ensure the standing of Rafale. February has been an exciting but busy month with a lot of meetings and events. March was therefore a month to take a step back and get feedback using our new visual identity and aligning to the competition wills. The key elements of our work are now the unveiling-birthday party of rafale, the formalizing of our sponsors for the SUMOTH 2023 edition and the planification of the competition.​

 

🧭 NAVIGATION

  • Achievements and work in progress: Since R3.5 design became fixed, the rigging team gathered to discuss, imagine, and prepare the 2023 setup. Navigation datasheets are also ready for the first tests in May.        
     

  • Future goals: The rigging phase will happen in the last stages of the manufacturing phase of our project. It will be a great occasion to ensure knowledge transmission between beginners and experts of rigging in the team and to train the team for boat setup during the SUMOTH 2023.

 

♻ MATERIALS & LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)

  • Achievements: As announced previously, mechanical tests on materials (composite flax fiber / Elium thermoplastic resin) have been completed to supply key data for designing. Concerning the LCA, bulkheads parts, rudder and daggerboard wet layup, bonding of the ladder inserts, and some repairs have been added and in MS360 (LCA tool for marine industry) considering the energy consumption and materials.      
     

  • Work in progress and future goals: Since manufacturing is currently in progress, the LCA team is waiting for data incomes from the workshop to complete its analysis. Meanwhile, the analysis is being rechecked, validated, and formatted for the report.

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