Here's something to gladden Jeremy Clarkson's heart: a 1000mph car. The opportunity to drive at supersonic speeds so quickly that there's no chance of being given a speeding ticket should get every speedfreak gasping with excitement.
Project Bloodhound is a new programme aimed at providing a simulation of what it's like to drive at 1000mph. Powered by Intel Atom processors, the Bloodhound Supersonic Car is being demonstrated at the Farnborough Airshow. The chips control the engine and in-car systems of the Bloodhound car while it attempts to break a land speed record.
Intel Atom processors were chosen because of their performance and power-saving properties, they're very similar to the ones found in netbooks. Three Atom chips will manage the calculations behind the car's "hybrid" propulsion systems – the largest hybrid rocket ever designed in Europe. In addition, each processor will be checking the others' calculations to guarantee there are no errors. Another processor will also be used to relay status information, stored on an internal SSD chip, back to the driver.
The other four processors are part of the control systems that will enable driver Wing Commander Andy Green to keep the car on a smooth trajectory during its record breaking attempts. During these attempts Green will be using winglets on the car to control both lift and downforce in real time.
"This is an important engineering milestone, and yet another great example of the close collaboration between Intel and Bloodhound. The Atom processor has impressed us with its power-saving, performance and resilience and thanks to this we have managed to use fewer processors in the car – saving on vital weight and space" said Mark Chapman, chief engineer for the Bloodhound programme.
Other drivers will be able to try out their own skills by having a go at the Bloodhound Driving Experience, simulating what it's like to drive five times faster than Lewis Hamilton.
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