Formula One and Charlotte White Telemetry Essays

Submitted By jake0829
Words: 2713
Pages: 11

BSc (Hons) Motorsport Management
Level 4
Management and E-Business


Charlotte White

Telemetry is a form of data acquisition used in many different industries but for a similar objective. It is used to collect data electronically at different distances and frequencies. Telemetry is used in many niche markets such as aerospace and motorsport. But it is also used in everyday life such as the GPS software on a mobile phone. However the uses are very similar and in many cases are the same. For instance, when on track, a formula 1 team need to know where the car is in order to determine pit stops etc. this is similar to how a Satellite Navigation System works in that the Navigation System needs to get an exact location in order to direct the user. Telemetry is usually used when manual measurements cannot be taken. An example of this was the Red Bull Stratos mission in which Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space. Evidently there was no way in which the measurements of speed and temperature could have been taken manually, therefore this was not only a test of endurance; it was a test in which telemetry was shown at its best being used from space 130,000 miles in the air.
“A unique telemetry control was specially developed for the capsule’s nine HD video cameras. This system enables control of the video recording and works as a comprehensive digital router-not unlike having a mini OB truck inside the capsule.” Here, Red Bull (Cameras and Communications, 2012) explained what was used in the mission in terms of telemetry. By using telemetry in this mission they could monitor the conditions in which Baumgartner was being subjected to; this allows them to also see the effects of the atmosphere on the capsule and Baumgartner. However, despite the obvious advantages to using telemetry in this mission, there was no guarantee that the systems would still transmit that far away and the systems still could have failed due to the vast distance away from the base the capsule was. Therefore despite being evidently beneficial all types of telemetry are subject to failure which makes it both an advantage and a risk for certain industries. An example of one of these industries is Motorsport. The motorsport industry uses telemetry in order to monitor the progress of the vehicle they are using to compete. Telemetry is becoming more significant in this industry because the teams can not only modify progress and communicate with the driver, they can also make changes to the vehicle without it having to come back to the pits for manual changes. This essay is going to explore the importance of the use of telemetry in motorsport.

Telemetry was first introduced to motorsport in 1983 by BMW in Brahbam (Valken, 2000). The advantage of their system was that they could analyse data acquired from the engine, so they could see where the engine performed better. For the time in motorsport this was incredibly advanced and despite the use of telemetry not being widely used it allowed BMW to study the engine’s performance after the race. The obvious disadvantage to this was that BMW could not make changes to the car during the race, but it started the niche market in motorsport for the need for the use of telemetry. In the early 1990s 2-way telemetry was introduced and then in 2001 telemetry systems were allowed to be used in cars by the FIA. (ATT Training, 2012) By using 2-way telemetry the team could not only communicate with the driver with the use of radio, but they could also modify the car without having to bring the car in for a pit stop. This meant that fewer pit stops had to be made and thus the chance of higher grid positions increased. However the downside to the ability of modifying a car whilst it was on track was that the modifications could have hindered the car’s performance and this could potentially lead to damage to the car which would mean a pit stop or retirement, or could even have