to play football, not to play trumpet
The CIL is on this web page:
You may need to scoll down to see the CIL, it's under the map of Australia.
The team successfully completed scrutineering, which is essentially an inspection process. All systems on the car are inspected to ensure they comply with regulations. This includes checking the size of the array, weight of the battery, electrical isolation switches, and other safety items. Overall, the process was very smooth. We are very satisfied to have reached this point, as qualifying is the only remaining milestone until the race!
As an update, the team passed scrutineering very quickly yesterday. A media crew (2 Michigan engineers) arrived in Darwin just a few hours ago. Maggie Hayes (Ed: former team manger, I think) will be driving the support vehicle that they are in.
The Team, The Team, The team
Over 30 teams will compete in The Veolia World Solar Challenge, which begins on October 16th in Darwin. The teams will race 1800 miles through the Australian Outback. Throughout the race the teams will be entirely self-sufficient and will camp in the outback during the four days of the race.
If the University if Michigan Solar Car Team wins this race, they will be the first American Student Team to win the World Solar Challenge.
The time difference between Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia and the Eastern Time Zone (Michigan) is +13:30 hours (+14:30 hours for CT, +15:30 hours for MT and +16:30 hours for Pacific). That +30 minutes seemed a little odd to me, too.
I've been in contact with Max Ross, one of the drivers of the 2005 car, Momentum. He provided a little insight as to what the team will experience in the next few days:
Scrutineering will entail detailed checks of every section of the car. On the mechanical side, we present our computer simulations showing that each structural component (A-arms, bolts, the carbon fiber frame...) can withstand the required loading. The battery team must show that adequate safety functions are in place, etc. The next step is showing that the car can handle brake tests and other simple dynamic tests. The final step is a hot lap around a road course at the Hidden Valley Motorsports Complex. The pole position is determined by the best single lap. In 2005 we went for the win (pole) and ended up getting 3rd, but it doesnt really matter. The only advantage is that there will be fewer cars in front to pass. We passed the other two (cars) in the first 30 minutes of racing and were the first team to the check point. The race itself starts on Sunday morning (October 16), which is Saturday evening our time.
I highly encourage you to click through to the UMSolar web site (I've provided links). There are pictures and videos that are worth the look. Additionally, I would hope to be able to edit/update this diary with daily activity once the WSC kicks off. I've asked Brian for assistance since I've not been able to determine if edting a diary is possible. If I'm unable to do so, I may fire off some Board posts, daily. Being a motorsports nut, I'm as nervous about this race as I am about Saturday's game versus Sparta. The WSC happens every other year it's kind of like the Olympics and/or World Cup (at least it is to me). The best solar teams in the world are professionals, they do this for a living. It's akin to the 1980 US hockey team against the Soviets. We all know how that turned out....Go Blue.
Things that have been happening, to the team, recently:
October 5, 2011 - One feature of the World Solar Challenge that is different from the North American Solar Challenge is that racers are allowed to charge their vehicle's batteries beginning at sunrise every morning and ending when the sun sets every night, rather than having to pack up at a designated hour each evening.
The perk of this regulation is that the team is up and paying close attention to every glorious sunrise and sunset as they traverse the Outback. When camping in the middle of the continent, there is almost nothing to obstruct the horizon, so every view of the sky is picturesque.
October 6, 2011 - The team is currently on day two of our four day drive up to Darwin for the start of the 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge. We decided to use the first two days of our drive for some additional on-road testing before we get into the Northern Territory, in which we aren’t allowed to drive Quantum until the race. Day one was definitely a strain as clouds covered the sky. Quantum pushed through and overall the day was very important as it gave our strategists more experience with driving under cloud cover. We found a clearing to camp out on at the end of the day.
This morning presented much more sunlight than the previous day, though clouds have started to roll in. Today will be another good test for our strategists and will be able to provide them with a good amount of practice. Once we get to the Northern Territory border, we will trailer Quantum the rest of the way up to Darwin and make our final preparations for WSC.
October 7, 2011 - Today was a very successful day on the road. Despite some cloud cover, Quantum still managed to cover over 700 KM during the course of the day, with zero time on the side of the road. The team is becoming acquainted with the race environment, solving challenges that come up quickly and effectively. With the Northern Territory roughly 50 KM away, we will spend just a short amount of time driving tomorrow to wrap up our testing for the Veolia World Solar Challenge. Our strategists are feeling comfortable with the performance of the car, and will be looking forward to a thrilling race in the days to come. The Media Crew has been busy testing out its video/communications equipment to ensure a constant stream of updates. Our strategists did a great job of predicting the weather, and were able to secure a sunny evening charge. Another benefit to this is a wonderful star filled view. For many of us, the is the best night sky we have ever seen.
October 10, 2011 - The team made it into Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia yesterday evening.
Darwin marks the start of the 3000 KM Veolia World Solar Challenge, which will begin on the morning of Sunday, October 16, 2011. In the mean time, the team will be at the Hidden Valley Raceway for Qualifying and final preparation of Quantum. We have already taken Quantum out for a spin on the track. The team is staying at the Youth Shack Hostel, which is well equipped with air conditioning and a pool. Since the temperatures are easily in the upper 90s to 100s with high humidity, it is a pleasant retreat.
October 11, 2011 - One of the major obstacles the teams will encounter during the Veolia World Solar Challenge will be cattle grids. There are over 100 grids in total spanning the 3000 km stretch of the Stuart Highway. All teams must be prepared to traverse them successfully. See below for a short video explaining their purpose, and to see footage from the Outback of Quantum taking them in stride.
It's been some time since we've visited our solar car heroes. Let's catch up and see what's been happening. In an effort not to simply plagiarize their stories, I've edited or truncated them for brevity. I'll provide a link for the full story on the UMSolar site, if you'd like to read more. Also, you can visit the UMSolar Car Store and consume mass quantities.
If you have no plans for the Saturday thru Tuesday (July 16-19, 2011), the team will be 'mock' racing Quantum. Scroll to the bottom portion of this diary for more details (see the July 8, 2011 entry). Their route will almost trace the Lower Peninsula’s outline (they're skipping "the Thumb"). If you happen to see them, voice your support - Go Blue!
May 18, 2011
UMSolar Works with GM to Build Quantum
During each project the Solar Car team works with leaders in the automotive industry. This ensures that car construction uses the latest technology. Recently, team members visited the GM Tech Center in Warren Michigan. They worked on making fiberglass layups for Quantum’s molds (for the aero body and are used to shape the carbon parts).
Taylor Dodson and Nathan Van Nortwick watch as the fiberglass is cut. It is ready to be placed into the mold for shaping.
Taylor mixes gel coat.
When the mold is ready, the gel coat is applied and provides a very smooth surface.
May 19, 2011
All about Flexloc Nuts
These small pieces of steel are perhaps one of the most significant components to the car: Flexloc nuts. They eliminate the need for lock washers, resist shock and vibration, and lock by themselves. One nut contains six slots, the cylinder embodying the slots has a diameter that is slightly smaller than the width of the bolt. When threaded on, the expansion causes the nut to lock in place. Quantum currently utilizes more than a hundred Flexlocs in at least five different sizes.
Steering rack rod-end connection; the connection at right is fastened with a Flexloc nut, the fastener at left uses a more traditional safety-wire method. This is the second Solar Car team vehicle that uses this specific hardware for the World Solar Challenge. Flexloc fasteners are required for the American Solar Challenge.
May 25, 2011
Advisers and Spartans
The team hosted two special visitors on Tuesday, May 25, 2011.
The first was Neil Johnson, an engineer from Ricardo. Neil came by to offer advice regarding the battery and battery protection system. Ricardo has been very generous in offering their technical consulting services to the team, and their assistance has been invaluable in the completion of Quantum.
Neil Johnson from Ricardo consults the team about the battery.
Also at the Wilson Center on Tuesday was James Miller, a Mechanical Engineering Junior at Michigan State University and a member of the MSU Solar Car Team. UMSolar met James at the Formula Sun Grand Prix, where State was racing their first-ever entry. Self-described as “The Little Team that Could” [Ed.: we know them better as “Lil Bro”], MSU completed 207 laps.
James met with members of U-M’s Business and Operations divisions. Afterwards, he spoke at length with other members of the team about mechanical systems and the in-depth process used to make our carbon fiber monocoque shell.
Sparty (James Miller), center, meets with Blaine Riley and Rachel Kramer
Ed.: Before you blow a gasket and accuse Blaine and Rachel of High Treason, consider that the "solar car family" is very tight knit. All teams want to see each other succeed and willingly share information (within reason). I witnessed this myself both at the American Solar Challenge finish line (last Summer) and at the Formula Sun Grand Prix (May, 2011 @ the Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
May 26, 2011
Who is the Director of Engineering?
Santosh Kumar is a Masters student in aerospace engineering at UM and is originally from Singapore. Beginning as a strategist in 2008, Santosh has made his way into the Engineering Division – where he currently holds the position of Director of Engineering as well as Head Strategist. Hear him talk about his involvement within the Solar Car team and the benefits that result from that:
Video Credit: Evan Dougherty
Jun 9, 2011
The President of Roush Enterprises Meets With the Team
The team poses with Quantum and Roush President, Doug Smith
The Chief Operating Officer and President of Roush Enterprises, Doug Smith, visited the Wilson Center. Smith shared with the team the culture of their company by saying, “When we run our business we don’t set priorities…we get it all done.” Smith’s discussion about teamwork, leadership, and engineering excellence has inspired the team that we will be able to improve and have a controlled mindset on the competition.
The relationship with Roush has been steadily increasing over the past year. Working with Roush helped cut approximately 200 pounds (Ed.: that's a massive weight reduction!) off Quantum, as well as condensing manufacturing time by two months. It was great to let Smith see how all the support that Roush has provided has helped us greatly.
Santosh Kumar showing Smith the inside of Quantum.
Smith takes a close look at the steering wheel for Quantum.
June 10, 2011
Quantum Photo Shoot
The team went to the Big House for some pictures. Martin Vloet has been named University Photographer’s Association Photographer of the Year in both 2006 and 2009 and has won several awards for his amazing photography.
In addition to being photographed by one of the best photographers at the University, it was an honor to just be on the field of the Big House. Engineer Troy Halm stated, “Of all the times being in the stands at the Big House, it was especially amazing to be on the field by the Michigan M – especially with Quantum.”
Strategist David Benson-Putnins added, “It was a great experience going out onto the football field. We got some amazing photos of Quantum at midfield, and the whole team enjoyed trying to make some field goals. Being able to show off the car with a venue as prestigious as the Big House as the backdrop is an impressive thing.”
June 21, 2011
Momentum goes to Ricardo
Throughout the Quantum build cycle, U-M Solar has been partnering with Ricardo – a major engineering innovation and consulting company – to optimize various in-car systems. As a way of saying “Thank You”, the team recently made a unique installation in their lobby: The 2005 national-champion vehicle, Momentum.
Momentum, our 2005 vehicle, on display in the lobby of Ricardo's Detroit Technical Campus. Momentum and its trophy will be on display at Ricardo through late Summer.
June 22, 2011
CANoe to Victory
A computer connected to the car to analyze the messages going through it using CANoe at FSGP. Photo Credit: Ryan Mazur
When testing or driving a solar powered vehicle it may be necessary to debug issues. In this case, the car is connected to a computer and a program called CANoe (CAN – Controller Area Network) is started.
CANoe is a type of software that allows all the messages, going through the on-board computers, to be read and to check for errors. The software can also identify problems such as loose wires or an over voltage issue.
July 6, 2011
Anodize to Stylize
Parts in their original and raw aluminum state, pre-anodized.
On Quantum, a lightweight carbon chassis embodies dozens of intricately machined aluminum parts that makeup the front and rear suspensions. These aluminum pieces require anodizing. The anodizing process receives its name as the part involved in the process forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. The current runs through the part while it is suspended in an acidic solution. After this is done, the end result is the part with a hard topcoat (one that is much harder than natural aluminum) that is resistant to corrosion.
Suspension pieces after they have been through the anodizing process. (notice the colors)
July 7, 2011
Race Upper Rolls Out
When the Solar Car Team builds a new vehicle, it builds two upper surfaces. These are the upper surfaces of the car. One, the “Mock Upper”, is a show piece and is painted nicely for publicity events and preliminary testing (as seen at the FSGP). The other, the “Race Upper”, is covered with solar cells and used in competition.
After several days of affixing the delicate solar cell modules to the top of the carbon fiber surface and wiring them together, the race upper was ready for testing. In anticipation of an upcoming testing date, the team took Quantum outside to let the cells soak up some sun and verify that everything was working.
Engineering Director Santosh Kumar and Electrical Engineer Joe Menzia adjust the Race Upper into position on the Lower Surface of the car.
The test crew wanted to verify that several things were working as designed. First were the Maximum Power Point Trackers. The solar cells can’t be plugged directly into the battery and motor – they have to be regulated and optimized. This is the job of the MPPTs, which are connected on one end to the car’s power grid, and on the other end to the solar cells.
Strategist David Benson-Putnins and Electrical Engineer Aaresh Bilimoria check the telemetry signals and power production coming from Quantum.
Also tested was the telemetry system. All data about Quantum’s performance are relayed to the Chase vehicle so that strategists can make accurate and informed decisions.
July 8, 2011
With the Win the World campaign launched, the Solar Car Team is now in full swing to prepare for Mock Race. The Mock Race is an approximate four-day journey along the border of Michigan’s lower peninsula – starting July 16, 2011. Mock Race will provide the team with a chance to practice testing on open roads and in a similar fashion to the process of the World Solar Challenge.
For example, during WSC, there are mandatory controls stops that require the team to take a break to rest, swap drivers, charge the car, etc. This means, in order to get the best simulation possible, the team will be temporarily stopping in various cities (marked on this map) that will serve as control stops. Some of the stops featured on the map are night stops, where the team will be able to rest and recharge before another full day of racing. We will also be holding events in a few of the stops that are designated on the map, check back later for finalized details!
In addition, the team will be able to practice using the various vehicles involved in our caravan such as Lead, Chase, Scout, Media, and Weather. This allows the team to have a full idea of what to expect during the race and how things will operate.
For more information please watch this video made by our Head of New Media and Videographer, Evan Dougherty.
July 12, 2011
Learn about our Caravan: The Weather Vehicle
The Weather vehicle in action during WSC.
When racing in World Solar Challenge and American Solar Challenge, there are a number of vehicles that work as a team. They’re known as The Caravan. The leader of these vehicles is called the Weather. The Weather vehicle leads with several miles between them and the main caravan (Lead, the solar car, and Chase), and just before our Scout vehicle.
Currently, Weather contains the Project Manager, Rachel Kramer, and Meteorologist, Jordan Feight (it will also carry advisers during the WSC). The primary role of the vehicle is to collect weather data and to relay that information to the strategists. In addition, they are responsible (in conjunction with Scout) to determine the campsite for overnight stops.
Jordan testing the weather equipment.
The meteorologist lets the other members know the current and future weather conditions. Jordan first looks at initial weather conditions and general patterns. Then he reviews predictive weather models, which allows him to analyze the information that he has collected. Clouds, solar radiation, and wind are the biggest factors to consider when looking at the forecast. Thus the reason for the pyranometer (measures solar radiation) and anemometer (measures wind speed) attached to the vehicle.
Clouds are perhaps one of the most difficult items in weather to predict, making it a challenge for Jordan to anticipate conditions. Wind speed is slightly easier to determine – helping the strategists figure out how fast the car should go based on the drag created by wind direction.
July 13, 2011
Learn about our Caravan: The Scout Vehicle
One of the previous Scout vehicles.
Although there is less scientific data involved with Scout than in Weather, it plays a significant role in ensuring our solar car’s safety.
Chito Garcia, who has driven Scout since the early '90s, will drive the vehicle while Operations Director, Ethan Larder carries out the main responsibilities of the vehicle. The main concern of Scout is to mark hazards that are found within the path of the solar car. During the race, Ethan removes any road kill and marks hazards, such as potholes or blind corners, with spray paint. Additionally, Scout directs the solar car in and out of control stops, makes sure that the Lead vehicle doesn’t need to stop for anything and helps to check the predetermined route so the main caravan (Lead, Chase and Quantum) doesn’t make any wrong turns.
An example of the array charging and being held up by the array stand that the Scout vehicle carries. WSC '09-Infinium.
Scout also has the responsibility to carry the array stand and make sure the campsite is ready once the solar car arrives. Scout works in conjunction with Weather to determine where the team should camp.
July 13, 2011
Making the car lean with TeXtreme
TeXtreme's checked pattern
One of UMSolar’s major goals is to build a vehicle that is 200 pounds lighter than the previous car, Infinium. One key step to achieve this goal has been through the use of Oxeon’s TeXtreme® Carbon Fiber Weave.
The TeXtreme® weave weighs less than one half the weight of some of the carbon fiber that was used on Infinium (and of previous generation vehicles).
Crew Chief, Gerald Chang works on the dashboard.
Ed.: Thanks for reading (it's long, I know). I'll do my best to provide another update before the World Solar Challenge in late Spetember or early October. Feel free to provide corrections/suggestions in the Comments [I'll be reading them =) ].
When we last saw the UM Solar Car Team, they were proudly winning the 2010 American Solar Car Challenge. Here they’re shown escorting their vehicle, Infinium, across the finish line at Naperville High School in Naperville, Illinois (a far western suburb of Chicago).
The following day, they got to hoist some hardware in front of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.
image courtesy of UMSolar
Who is the UM Solar Car team?
“The University of Michigan Solar Car Team (UMsolar) is an entirely student-run organization that designs and builds solar-powered vehicles. The team races both nationally and internationally. Since its establishment in 1990, the team has built 10 vehicles, won the American Solar Challenge six times, and placed third in the World Solar Challenge four times. UMsolar is widely recognized as the most successful team in North America.”
The Team, The Team, The Team
It takes the team two years to build a car. Design improvements and the building of a new car starts immediately after the most recent one is complete. During summer months, the team is either; participating in the June American race (American Solar Challenge) or shipping team members and supplies to Australia in order to race internationally (World Solar Challenge). The race crew consists of about twenty-five people.
image courtesy of UMSolar
This year (2011) the crew will take the fall school semester off in order to race in the World Solar Challenge. Held during the month of October, the crew ships off to Australia in early September. They will pick up the semi-truck and solar car that has been shipped earlier. A solid month of grueling testing will follow. The team strategists need to acclimate; predicting car performance and energy usage in the Australian sun. Engineers will become familiar with the Australian road network. Eventually, the crew holds a mock race from one side of the country to the other, approximately 1800 miles. Meanwhile, interim leaders take charge, back home, to keep the team running efficiently.
The Team is comprised of four main parts; Engineering, Business, Strategy and Operations. UMsolar is so successful because of specialization within the team. Engineering builds the car. Additionally, engineering team members are further separated into segments; aerodynamics and body, mechanical, electrical, and micro-electrical. Almost every system on the vehicle is custom-designed and built for each race. Business makes the team known to the world. Also, it procures all the parts that are required. Often, the cost exceeds $1.2 million. Strategy performs weather testing and designs custom computer programs to determine the most efficient way to harness and utilize solar energy. This is done so that the performance of the vehicle, on race day, is the best it can be. Operations does all the remaining (hard) work, ensuring the team runs smoothly. This includes shipping the team (vehicles and members) to Australia and maintaining camp, in various locations, for several months.
“The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is comprised of the most talented and driven members of the University from a wide array of disciplines. By developing the best traits within each student, these individuals unite as a team in pursuit of unprecedented excellence. The team implements cutting-edge technology and creative innovations to produce and race a world-class solar car. Extending beyond racing, the team reaches out to the local, national, and international communities. Through partnership with the best companies and individuals, the team’s internal strength translates into external success, driving it to be the best solar car program in the world.”
- 1990 – Sunrunner: Built only a year before the inaugural 1990 SunRayce, Michigan’s first solar car won the event and went on to place third in the 1990 World Solar Challenge.
- 1993 – Maize and Blue: After an extra year to raise money and improve design, this team appeared poised to better the record of 1990's Sunrunner. After finishing first in the 1993 SunRayce, Maize and Blue experienced severe problems with their high-powered solar array and finished seventh at the 1993 World Solar Challenge.
- 1995 – Solar Vision
- 1997 – Wolverine
- 1999 – Maize Blaze: Competed in both the 1999 ASC and WSC
- 2001 – M Pulse: Despite a testing accident, just seventeen days before the race, M-Pulse’s unique design propelled it to a first-place finish in the 2001 American Solar Challenge, Michigan’s third national championship. It also went on to place third in the 2001 World Solar Challenge
- 2003 – SpectruM: the convention of naming the vehicle with a word that ends with the letters “um” begins.
- 2005 – Momentum: finished first in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, the longest solar car race ever held (Texas to Calgary, Canada).
- 2007 – Continuum: first vehicle to feature the team’s innovative concentrator system.
- 2009 – Infinium: placed first in the American Solar Challenge, the first team in the history of the race to win three National Championships in a row. This car also received the Technical Innovation Award for their ground-breaking concentrator system.
- 2011 – Quantum: unveiled this month, will compete in the WSC, in Australia, in October.
During the week of May 2, 2011, UMsolar participated in the Formula Sun Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They chose not to compete because the car’s solar array is not yet installed (that is, there are no solar cells on the car). Using Infinium’s solar array to charge the battery, Quantum ticked off laps while the team gathered data and fine-tuned their processes. At one point, Quantum completed 90 laps within three hours and thirty minutes. To say the car is fast is an understatement, it’s also eerily quiet. Troy Halm was pretty smooth behind the wheel. He eventually took some pretty sharp corners without using the brakes to set the car’s suspension. I chatted a little with Jordan Feight (Strategy) who told me the drivers had received training, from Ford, and that they needed to work on being smooth and reduce the amount of forward momentum lost through side loading.
I also spoke with Chris Hilger (Business and Operations Director). He was kind enough to answer direct questions involving a brand new car. I was a little surprised; usually responses to direct questions are met with slightly vague answers. Then again, perhaps I wasn’t asking “sensitive” enough questions.
At last summer’s American Solar Challenge, I met one of the drivers from the 2005 team (Momentum), Max Ross. Max and his fellow teammates defeated the University of Minnesota in the closest American Solar Challenge (iirc). After 1500 miles of racing, Momentum finished ten minutes ahead of the Golden Gophers. Max is one of those people that radiates energy. He’s like a personification of a Red Bull. Due to the “family nature” of UMsolar, former team members support the current team while the current team considers former members a valuable resource. Max was able to get me access to Infinium as well as explain, in high detail, how various components worked. Thanks Max.
Also participating in the FSGP were: University of Kentucky, Illinois State University, Iowa State University, Missouri S&T, Northwestern University, University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.
University of Minnesota
University of Kentucky
Michigan State University
I'll have to admit, my Dad and I got a good laugh out of Sparty's effort. On the other hand, my wife felt sorry for them. They were clearly the slowest vehicle on the track and were subjected to being passed, numerous times, each lap. Each vehicle has one of those "canned air" airhorns onboard. They're used to let a slower vehicle know that they're about to be overtaken (the rear view is severely limited on most of the vehicles). You could clearly hear Sparty being overtaken, ad nauseum, whether they were in sight or not.
I was curious as to why they were so far behind, with respect to the other cars in the field. I thought better of asking directly, given the fact I was wearing my UM sweatshirt and cap (I didn't want to be subjected to a possible beatdown at the hands of a clandestine Sparty football player). I later found out that their team is very young, this is their four year of existence, and they have a lot of catching up to do.
As previously mentioned, the team will be installing the solar cell array within the next few weeks. I asked Chris if this was normal as I figured it was a little late to be without your solar array. He assured me that everything was on schedule and there was no reason for concern. After install, the team will continue to test and eventually head towards the east coast, terminating in New York City. They plan to meet with alumni groups along the way. Check their site for the planned route. They would love you to get to see the car and meet The Team. Best of luck to Chris, Troy, Jordan and all of UMsolar especially this Fall when they head “down under” to uphold the tradition. Go Blue.
Even the Solar Car has Wings!
See you Down Under!!
All the information in this Diary was gleaned from the UMSolar web site - thanks.
All images are provided by the Author unless otherwise noted.
I did find a New York Times article concerning Xenith Helmets. However, their site is all Flash driven. The site has been linked, if you're interested. I think I've observed their helmets in the NFL and NCAA but they seem few and far between.
This is the helmet that I consider to be the "basic" football helmet that we're all come to know so well.Riddell markets it to the NFL, College and High School teams. It features an exclusive Polycarbonate shell. It has an inflatable liner with two outside inflation points: back-neck-side and crown. Tried and True.
Introduced in 2002, the Riddell Revolution was the first major football helmet innovation in 25 years. Since that time, more than half a million youth, high school, college and pro players have made the switch. Today, research shows that players wearing the Riddell Revolution are 31% less likely to suffer a concussion when compared to traditional football helmets. For athletes who had never suffered a previous concussion, wearing the Riddell Revolution decreased their relative risk of concussion by 41%. It's considered to be "Top of the line" for NFL, College and High School. It contains (standard) Z-Pads, extended Tru-Curve shell and Isolater Faceguard System (it can be upgraded to inflatable Z-pads).
- Exclusive Polycarbonate shell.
- Inflatable Back/Neck/Side liner.
- Six vent holes
Based on the Revolution (see above) the Revolution IQ contains Concussion Reduction Technology.
- deal Fit Liner System with TruCurve back and front pads.>
- Inflatable back and crown pads.
- Standard Z-Pads (can be upgraded to inflatable Z-Pads).
- It has a Quick Release Face Guard System.>
- Exclusive Polycarbonate Shell.
- Six vent holes.
Designed for performance with Revolution Technology built-in. The ‘Revo’ Speed comes with a new shell design, and a comfortable anti-microbial over liner. It features a new face mask system designed from the ground up to optimize sightlines. Attaching the cage is Riddell's exclusive Quick Release Face Guard System for rapid and easy access to the player.
- Revolution Concussion Reduction Technology.
- Aggressive Revo Speed shell profile.
- Inflatable back/neck/side liner and crown liner.
- Standard with Inflatable S-pads.
- Removable moisture wicking, antibacterial overliner.
- Oversized vent holes.
Revolution IQ H.I.T.S.
I thought the following was really cool. I'd love to see the data: For the first time in history, every player can now monitor the number and severity of impacts received during game and practices, thanks to Riddell's patented Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS). On-board electronics record every impact, allowing players to upload and evaluate each occurrence on their home computers. ‘HITS’ also provides the guidance necessary to understand and address a suspect impact if it is detected. MX Encoder: MX Encoders are sensors built into every HITS helmet to automatically record impacts.
- Available already installed in a standard Riddell Revolution IQ helmet (see above).
- Patented MX Encoder fits in the stock helmet and records the location, magnitude, duration and direction of up to 100 impacts (patented).
- Includes Riddell's Red Zone Software for charting data.
- Includes 2 MX Encoder battery packs and battery charging station.
- MX Encoder can be removed for cleaning.
- Riddell HITS Desktop Antenna connects to any desktop or laptop computer with a USB port and is suitable for use with multiple HITS-equipped helmets.
Considering the amount of heat related injuries (and some unfortunate deaths), this is promising technology, too: The H.O.T. (Heat Observation Technology) System is an early warning detection system for heat stroke and other heat related injuries. The system uses a sensor placed inside a player’s football helmet to monitor the player’s body temperature. That data is wirelessly transmitted to a PDA on the sideline where it can be monitored in real-time by a certified athletic trainer or other sideline personnel. When a player’s temperature spikes and doesn’t come back down, an audible and visual alert is sounded, with the intention of getting that player off the field before a serious, perhaps fatal, injury occurs.
- Sensor is the size of a dime and weighs less than an ounce.
- Sensor will fit inside any football helmet.
- Proprietary PDA can monitor hundreds of athletes within signal range.
- Wireless range is 300 yards.
- Up to 1000 athletes can be monitored by one PDA.
- Sensor is weather proof.
- Alert temperature can be customized for each player.
The Schutt ION 4D is unlike any helmet that’s ever been designed before. The styling of the shell includes the Schutt Energy Wedge faceguard attachment system. The faceguard is integrated right into the shell and is stronger and more durable than classic faceguards. The ION 4D also features TPU cushioning eliminating any break-in period. The Schutt ION 4D comes with a two-piece SUREFIT inflatable air liner system. It’s made from an anti-microbial material to resist the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other bacteria. Energy Wedge: Exclusive to the Schutt ION 4D, it acts as a shock absorber for the helmet, absorbing up to 15% more force from frontal impacts to the faceguard. The Schutt ION 4D features a wide panoramic view. Chin straps can be attached to the Schutt ION 4D in a variety of manners, including Schutt Short ‘N Long or 4-Point High. Schutt recommends, however, mounting the chin strap through the ION 4D Energy Wedge faceguard, as this gives sideline-to-sideline field of vision and also eliminates a high contact area on the helmet shell and prolongs helmet life.
The Schutt AiR XP is a traditional shell helmet with that familiar, spherical shape. It contains a unique combination of tradition with state-of-the technology. It has a two-piece SUREFIT inflatable air liner system treated with an anti-microbial to resist the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other bacteria. Additionally, it has six large ventilation holes in the crown maximize air flow.
First introduced in 2003, it provides better impact absorption (compared to traditional foam padding), better heat management and better hygienics. It's highly resistant to mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria, while providing a barrier against MRSA and staph concerns. It has a two-piece SUREFIT inflatable air liner system treated with an anti-microbial to resist the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other bacteria. Dart-shaped large ventilation holes in the crown maximize air flow.
I consider this to be Schutt's version of Riddell's VSR4. Compare the pictures. The give away (in identification) is the slot (Schutt) behind the circular, raised ear hole. Riddell's helmet does not have this. Additionally, the Schutt has vent holes in the helmet crown. The Air Advantage is 12% lighter than the Pro-Air II, but still maintains the same durability. This helmet features a unique air liner system, which distributes the force of an impact then immediately returns to its original shape. That same liner system makes it easy to get a custom fit for each player. Component parts of this helmet are interchangeable. Large ventilation holes on the crown allow air to circulate in the helmet. The Air Advantage also features a third chinstrap snap location – for players who don’t fit or don’t like the standard setup. Single inflatable air liner is designed for optimum fit (color coded for easier identification of sizes). The liner is treated with an anti-microbial agent to resist the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other bacteria. Six large ventilation holes in the crown maximize air flow.
- Expanded Polypropylene Liner.
- Standard 3/8” EVA Liner.
- Locking Edge System - Keeps the Liner in Place.
- Universal Jaw Pads.
- Temple Pods - Provide Secure Fit in Traditionally Hard to Fit Areas.
- Rear Helmet Shell Offset - Conforms to shape of rear skull.
- Energy Dispersement Ridge - Adds strength and stability and conforms to head contour.
- Newly Designed Polycarbonate Anatomically Correct Shape - Reduced weight for comfortable fit.
- Venturi Ports and Extended Ear Holes - Improve ventilation by allowing for air circulation and heat dissipation.
- Skeletal Sub Structure (SSS System) - Expanded Polypropylene - Light weight stiff skeleton supports shell and assists in attenuating impacts.
- Newly Designed Polycarbonate Anatomically Correct Shape - Reduced weight for comfortable fit.
- Energy Dispersement Ridge - Adds strength and stability and conforms to head contour.
- Rear Helmet Shell Offset - Conforms to shape of rear skull.
- Venturi Ports and Extended Ear Holes - improve ventilation by allowing for air circulation and heat dissipation.
- EVA Liner and Front EVA Liner - provides comfortable fit and energy management.
- Custom Air Liner with Left Rear Inflation Air-Port - a superb individual air-fit system with easy inflation on player.
- Front Pad Assembly - Soft pad for easy access to mount/remove face mask.
- Skeletal Sub Structure (SSS System) - expanded polypropylene - light weight stiff skeleton supports shell and assists in attenuating impacts.