Sunday, September 30, 2007

Alpha Team Launch 2007 Style

Well, it happened again! I'm in the middle of my second, once in a lifetime opportunity. Jim Eckert and I are heading out to Sydney via a few stops along the way at 8am Sunday. We should arrive in Sydney Tuesday morning via Chicago and Tokyo.

Things are looking good for SunStang 2007. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team is working on all cylinders and has made great strides leading into unveiling and shipping this past week. I'll post some pics later on that. The team is preparing to race starting October 21st in Darwin, and ending 3010 kms later in Adelaide by October 28th.

This 2007 team is comprised of some key members who worked very hard through out the summer to get us where we are. Pranay and Dan are our managers and have worked tirelessly on the electrical systems, fundraising and logistics. They have been at it all day and night making sure we get to where we need to go! Jim is the other senior returning team member other than myself. He was instrumental in the construction of all the major mechanical systems as well as the development of the battery pack. Joe and Mig , Mike Auer have also lent their hand in the development of mechanical and electrical systems, with Mig providing design skills, Mike working on the high power electrical systems and Joe doing everything asked of him to get the car build. They all put their blood sweat in tears in to the labour intensive building of the car. Tony has done some amazing work of late, landing us some critical sponsorship and media attention over the last several weeks.

Greg W, Dave L, Mark C Mike H Laura D, Anita R, and many others have been significant help through out the last 12 months.

Thank You
Above and beyond the team members, we've once again received amazing support from staff, faculty, alumni and industry sponsors. They all have played integral roles in moving us forward. I have to personally thank all the guys at UMS who have gone above and beyond to help us out over the last few years. Chris Vandelaar and Kevin Barker helped us develop some of our most important systems. Chris developed the housing for our new in-wheel CSIRO motor. He spent countless hours on his own designing and manufacturing the parts. Kevin helped with manufacturing our composite chassis. He methodically wrapped our panels and got them in the oven for curing several times a week! With out their help, the car would be a shell of itself (no pun intended :) ). Also, I have to thank everyone else at UMS especially Bob, Clayton, and Peter for their patience and assistance on those last minute rush requests for help!

Ray Williamson and his crew up in purchasing once again pushed us through the hump of getting the car shipped. There is just so much involved in getting a car this big all the way over there in Australia. His expertise saved us days of grief and allowed us to get the car out just in the nick of time. Lonnie and everyone at engineering stores have always been huge supporters of our team. If there is a financial issue to deal with, they are all over it and quickly solve our problems getting us on our way.

None of this could have been possible without our amazing sponsors. They have provided us with cash and gifts in kind. Jack Cowin of Hungry Jack's is once again are our single biggest supporter. His support has single handily allowed Sunstang teams since 1993 to compete at the World Solar Challenge in Australia.

This year, we've had several major sub system sponsors. Alex of Elmo Motion Control provided us with state of the art motor controllers, with amazing capabilities in a compact package. Andrew at Solon AG hooked us up with an awesome SunPower array. The array will give us nearly 1.2Kw of power through 400+ 20.5% efficient solar cells.

We need to especially thanks Western for their generous support. The great inter university support has boosted morale and has excited everyone on the potential threat this SunStang team will pose. Support from Western Engineering, and the Presidents office (VP Research and Academic) have been the key to getting us to Australia this year.

We have many more sponsors to thank and will do so over the course of this blog. There is much more to come and I hope to hear from you all soon through commenting on the blog. I leave in 3 hours so i better get ready. We will continue on from here in a few days!

Cheers from Mississauga (on route to the airport!).



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