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FST 10e: the first lap

On March 21st the FST 10e made its firsts meters in a testing session that resulted in this much anticipated moment: the first lap of the FST 10e!

This testing session, which didn’t include the FST 10e aerodynamic package, took place at Instituto Superior Técnico. We started by mechanical checks and had to adapt to the unforeseen situations that occurred. After 15 laps, the test was interrupted due to some problems on the braking system.

There is still a lot of work to do! All detected problems will be analysed and corrected. We will be focused on ensuring that the FST 10e succeeds on all the scrutineering inspections required for Formula Student competitions. With tireless work from the whole team, we are getting closer and closer to achieving our goals for the upcoming competition season!

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FST 10d: driver mode

The FST 10d testing was resumed during March, which is still being performed in the non-autonomous mode, resorting to a driver.

The goals of these tests are collecting a wide variety of data provided by the sensors and validate algorithms. We also tested different sensor setups, new sensors, and also the use of two cameras simultaneously. We also tested remote access and viewing of the car, so that when it is on the autonomous mode, we can access it remotely.

After three weekends of testing, it’s time to take the FST 10d back to the workshop, feeling satisfied with the outcome of these testing sessions, as the necessary data has been successfully collected! 

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FST Lisboa at student organisation’s events: online version

The beginning of the spring semester brings along several fairs of IST’s student organizations that take place at the Técnico’s campi. This year was no exception!

During the month of March, FST Lisboa was present in the online version of the Semana Aeroespacial, Semana Empresarial e Tecnológica and MecaIST. These events were put together by student organizations of Técnico for the whole academic and corporate community.

We did not give up on our stand, which was converted into its virtual form, where we welcomed everyone who was curious and interested in getting to know more about who we are and what we do.

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Update: start of 2021 season

As the 2020/2021 school year started we see ourselves having to readjust to the new reality of living with a global pandemic. And that means reevaluating the initial planification, deadlines and overall goals. 

To all our sponsors that stayed with us during these tough times we send a major  thank you and appreciation. To the ones that we had to part with, there are no hard feelings as we understand the great difficulties many companies are facing. We can only try to make you proud and hope that one day we can work together again. 

We started the 2021 season eager to finish the manufacture of our 10th race car generation. We anticipate to have more time to test these prototypes, to evaluate its reliability and validade our design.

This will help us develop a better and improved FST 11, which will be both electric and autonomous, falling into the hybrid category. Its design phase will start as soon as both FST 10e and FST 10d are finished. 

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Powertrain and Electronics Working Bench

This bench has been under development since the FST 08e and it’s been here that we perform most powertrain and electronic tests.

From the Powertrain side, it now includes the battery, 2 AMK motors, torque sensor and cooling system. The connection is made by the inverters to the Electronic side where we have several electronic modules such as DCU – Digital Control Unit – torque encoder, many sensors, PCBs and a PC with remote connection to the team members personal computers. 

With the new version of the MJF arriving soon we need to be able to test it and trust the results. In order to do that we are preparing a series of tests for our AMK motors. The goal is to obtain the same data presented in the motors datasheet to validade our testing protocol. 

On the Electronics side, we have been focusing on making sure that everything goes to plan when the power button is turned on, in terms of information being sent by the PCBs, and if the system responds as expected when each sensor is actuated. 

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Turning the FST 09e into an Assetto Corsa simulator

As motorsport enthusiasts we are all about the true driving experience, but when it comes to our car, a simulator is just as fun! The goal of this project was to provide an interactive experience in events, as it is a great way to bond with an interested audience. Who doesn’t want to hop in and drive a formula car?

Since we communicate with the car via CAN, we have easy access to the steering wheel and pedals position. Then it’s only a matter of having the proper controller plugged into the computer where the game is being played.

We do it for fun but with Assetto Corsa we can even race in the Formula Student tracks and import our own car! For sure our drivers will have a blast when the driving practices for the 2021 season start. 

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Workshop Is The New Beach

With all precautions taken, the team unfolds itself in efforts to achieve the final goal: the 10th prototype with the FST Lisboa stamp. 

Monocoque, Machining and Battery: these have been the three focuses of in house mechanical work. 

Laminating, curing, demoulding, trimming and sanding are all tasks that will be part of everyday life until the completion of the monocoque – a task that is always taken as a milestone – since it is the part that connects all subsystems being developed in parallel.

One of these subsystems is the suspension, for which the team has been machining some of the parts in the LTO (Laboratório de Técnicas Oficinais): cones, links and inserts. 

On the third work front – the battery – the following steps contemplate repairs on the mould, connections’ drilling and threading, as well as stacks’ lamination.

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Ever Closer to FST 10d

End in sight for the team’s first year developing an autonomous prototype.

The last few months have been all about testing and sharpening for our driverless project. 

Since there’s already a way to mimic the messages sent to the motors and generated according to the driver’s foot position, now it’s just a matter of connecting the pc to the car CAN lines, and test the developed code.

Control wise, the team also explored a new path planning algorithm which is now being tested and compared with the already existent one.

As for breakthroughs, the use of neural networks allowed for both perception sensors to estimate color and distance, as opposed to a few months ago where distance estimation was only possible with the LiDAR and color estimation with the camera. 

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Wrap Design Contest

Hey! We’ve opened a Wrap Design Contest in Association with Creative Minds .

The objective is to find a wrap design for FST 10e (the team’s new electric prototype) and for FST 10d (the team’s 9th prototype upgraded to an autonomous version).

Winner gets a 3-month internship at Creative Minds.

Participants should deliver one design for FST10e and one design for FST 10d and should be aware that both prototypes will be presented together, therefore, the designs should be different but coherent.

The submitted design must comply with the following directives:

  • The design must be in conformance with the team’s identity and color scheme; 
  • The design must be in conformance with the team’s last three prototypes;
  • The design must allow for the sponsor’s logos to be sticked on the prototype.  

For this, both technical drawings and photos from the team’s previous prototypes will be sent to participants after their registration.

The Contest Rules will also be available at the same time.

If you’re an uni student and this is your jam please complete the registration form.

Submissions until 24th July 2020.

Design Magazine 2020

This season’s Design Magazine is out !

As its title implies, this year’s first out of two issues is purely focused on some of what were the design improvements entering this new generation of prototypes.

The all-purpose of writing a magazine like this one is to involve you on the team’s technical breakthroughs, whether you have advanced knowledge on this fields of expertise, or you’re simply just curious.

Either way, you’ll find that there are black and white pages to visually differentiate the articles about FST 10d and FST 10e, respectively, and a glossary to help you with some of the technical abbreviations used throughout the DV section.

Being the debut season of FST Lisboa as a team working simultaneously on two race cars, this have been, unarguably, changing times. We’ve established ambitious goals not only for our prototypes but also in terms of the way we perform our daily tasks in order to potentiate our delivery.

So, without further ado, we leave you to explore what deepens our desire to step on those iconic tracks every year and experience the thrilling world of Formula Student.

Enjoy!