INEOS TEAM UK has announced that it has resumed training for the forthcoming America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021 with Papercast e-paper information display systems onboard. The displays will deliver data to the crew on the ‘AC75’ race boats – 75-foot hydrofoiling mono-hulls designed to bring the America’s Cup home to Britain.
The design brief for the displays was demanding, and different to the needs of Papercast’s normal customers. Papercast e-paper display technology was originally developed to transform real-time passenger information at bus stops around the world. Like those on the AC75, these displays need to be highly readable in bright sunlight, robust and indifferent to temperature changes. However, they do not need to update very often, and weight is not an issue – two crucial features for AC75.
The America’s Cup is ultimately a design and technology race and the INEOS TEAM UK race boat is a miracle of engineering – allowing it to fly above the water at speeds in excess of 50mph. The technical complexity of the boat means that a lot of information from the boat’s instrument system and hundreds of sensors needs to be instantly delivered to the crew to keep the boat flying flat and fast.
Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper of INEOS TEAM UK commented:“It’s impossible to sail these incredibly advanced and sophisticated boats without data, and getting that data in a fast, highly-readable format in the extreme environment of an AC75 cockpit is a real challenge.”
Traditionally the update rate for e-paper technology was relatively slow and the team wanted the display to run at 7Hz. The displays also had to be integrated into the boat’s data system, they had to be lightweight but also robust enough to survive the crowded, high speed and high energy environment of an AC75 cockpit. Nevertheless, Papercast’s development engineers were confident that the technology could be adapted to the new use.
Robert Bicket, CEO of Papercast says:“Like INEOS TEAM UK, we love a challenge! We have attempted to achieve some seemingly impossible tasks to deliver the performance required – with great success. I am delighted that our technology will form one of the many vital components of these exceptional race boats.”
A new lightweight enclosure was designed, and a prototype manufactured and tested before being put into production.
“Papercast’s display technology has done a great job of delivering information everywhere that we needed it onboard, in the different forms that the crew specified. The guys have already given the displays a hammering in training and testing, and we’re also really pleased with the resilience. It’s been a great collaboration with Papercast,” concludes the team’s Nick Holroyd, Chief Designer of INEOS TEAM UK.
The result is a display that is easy to read with excellent power efficiency. It is light but incredibly robust and completely configurable by the team’s software engineers. This means that every crew position on the boat could have exactly the data they wanted in a bespoke display.
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