Precise GPS Sensing for High
Performance Racecars

Results from tests at New Hampshire International Speedway

Data collected while on the three day course at the Skip Barber Racing School driving the Formula Dodge cars.
Course funded by the MIT CC++ Program

Chan in #75 and Jon in #46

Project goal: Develop a GPS sensing system that can provide high accuracy tracking
(~ 5 cm, position, attitude to within 1 deg) using Carrier-Phase Differential GPS (CDGPS).

Data could be used for: Data has already been collected at MIT to demonstrate the proof of concept so we now were ready
for testing at racetrack.

Faculty Contacts: Jonathan How , John Hansman , Betty Lou Mcclanahan

Students: Chan Woo Park , Nick Pohlman and Phil Ferguson

Driving Instructor: Nick Longhi


front antenna

Two 2 GPS antennas were mounted
on the car.
One on the nose of the car
back antenna
Second on top of the roll bar
behind the driver's head
The modem antenna is also
attached to the roll bar

The data from the GPS Receiver (Modified Zarlink design) was collected by both antennas and then broadcast
in real-time via the modem to the ground station where it was compared with the data collected by the antenna
located at the start/finish line

Track Layout

Track layout - map from
Skip Barber School
More details with pictures

Some Results:

Plot showing the position, velocity, and attitude of the Nick Longhi durng a test run.

Nick intentionally skidded the car through the corners. So you can see a large difference (~10 degs) between the velocity vector and the heading.
Nick Longhi skidding though the infield turns 1 and 2
(not the banked track)
Nick Longhi skidding though the infield turns 7 and 8
Another interesting way to visulaize the speed around the track. Plots the speed vertically at each position. Nick Longhi started from a standing start, and had to slow down to cut through at turn 3/6
Plot of Jon How's speed.
The x-axis is only approximate time because of some problems with the old modem. The plot clearly shows
the correct trends through turns 8/9 and turns 1/2/3
Plot of Jon How's speed versus track position.

For Further Details:


Other groups working on similar projects:

Back Professor How's page.

December 9, 2002