We’re thrilled to provide satellite connectivity for the Agoria team as they race a solar car across South Africa this September.
In September 2022, South Africa will host more than a dozen professional and amateur solar car teams from around the world for the Sasol Solar Challenge - a challenge to develop, build, and drive solar-powered cars, with the ultimate goal of covering the distance without using a single drop of fuel.
The Agoria Solar Team has participated in other races in the past, but it’s their first time competing in this particular Challenge. It’s also their longest-distance competition to date, as the race has a unique concept: instead of driving a fixed distance as fast as possible, the goal is to cover as many kilometers as possible throughout South Africa within eight days.
With that in mind, reliable communication takes the gold medal spot on the team’s list of priorities while racing.
“The equipment provided by Network Innovations helps us with connectivity on the road,” says Tine Wildiers, Data Engineer in the Agoria Solar Team. “This is a must-have for our strategy department, which needs to gather information from different places to determine our optimal path forward.”
As a sponsor, Network Innovations will supply the team with two Thales MissionLINK 700 terminals, powered by Iridium® Certus, for a reliable global connection. Equipped with a satellite link, the team will remain in touch regardless of the landscape and events on the ground.
“Information that is transferred includes things like weather measurements, specific road information, updates on the status of other competing teams, etc.,” says Wildiers. “All of these details are sent to a car we like to call “The Brains,” which follows our solar car throughout our races. The Brains car then uses all of this information to determine how fast our solar car should drive during specific parts of the day.”
8 Days, 8 Stages, 1 Solar Car. More about the Sasol Solar Challenge
Now in its 14th year, the Challenge is renowned for its difficulty, due in part to diverse weather conditions and, this year, an altitude drop of nearly 2,000 meters.
Each race day is called a “Stage” - teams must start each race day in one city and end in another. Teams can choose to add loops along the route, adding extra kilometers to their total distance. There is just one catch: teams have to arrive at the finish line that day before 5 p.m., otherwise they lose points.
Now with less than 30 days until racing begins, the Agoria Solar Team’s car, BluePoint Atlas, has been tested one final time before its journey to South Africa. With three wheels, a pointed nose, and a top speed of 150 km/h, their now ninth solar-powered vehicle will be put to the ultimate test.
Aiming for another first-place title, it’s crucial that they communicate, discuss strategy, and make informed decisions. Being caught by surprise with unpredictable weather must be avoided. Our solutions will move with the team, ensuring they can continue “Redefining Possibilities” and Succeed. Anywhere.