Howdy y’all, this is Ryan checking in, and here to say that CalSol is indeed still quite alive and kickin’. In the past couple of weeks we’ve been constantly testing, fixing, and tweaking everything on the car from suspension to steering to the safety systems. Just today we took the car out for a spin in the warm California sun along the 580 freeway, and I would describe it as the most refreshing yet stressful event of my life.
It was great knowing the the effort that we’ve put in the last two years – counting the individual sacrifices that we have all made to get this car in this running state – has finally paid off. At the same time, Impulse is a Solar Car, in other words: still an experimental vehicle built by university students. Sure we’ve taken the car on the freeway a few times before, and lived to tell the tale, but it was extremely nerve-wracking in the sense that you will never know if a new issue will decide to manifest itself while travelling at 65mph on public roads. To my pleasant surprise, everything turned out great. No tires blew out, the solar array continued to charge, telemetry was getting data, our drivers felt comfortable, the battery monitoring system didn’t misbehave, and we got some pretty awesome pictures coming out of it.
Sometimes, things just don’t go the way you intend them to. Things break, deadlines get missed, people disappear off to summer jobs, and worst of all you lose sight of your objectives. I would like to give a big shout out to the one person who managed to pull us through this slump. That person is our summer team lead – Jessica Chang. Jessica has single handedly completed DMV registration, CHP inspection, shipping logistics, test drive logistics, people herding, and done untold amounts of work to get the car up and running, all while maintaining an internship in Belmont. Without her we would not have made it this far.
CalSol – Ryan