Singular Systems

Lions Racing Testimonial

The variety of applications where Jep is employed never fail to amaze us. We recently interviewed Stefan Windt from the Technical University in Braunschweig, Germany on how the Lions Racing Team is using Jep in their race car telemetry system.

The team participates in the annual international engineering contest Formula Student. Last year, they won the Most Innovative use of Electronics award at the Formula Student Germany event. And with their new car, the LR07, they are determined to keep up the pace with a sophisticated telemetry system which processes and reports vehicle sensor data to a set of remote devices.

What does the telemetry system do?

"The telemetry system consists of three parts. The server component in the car transmits the acquired sensor data to a central base station at the edge of the race track. This base station is the interface between the clients and the race car. It handles the data synchronization and communication with the car, data distribution to the clients and also holds all configuration information used by the clients."

What role does Jep play in your software?

"From the beginning, we wanted to build a highly flexible system that covers all possible cases that may occur. Even if somebody has a new requirement regarding data analysis, it should be possible to realize this by configuration - not by coding. The easiest way to be most flexible seemed to be using formulas that any user can define on their on. Even at runtime. We are now able to calculate complex sensor data and map the relations between sensors and data sources without having hard-coded any formulas."

Why are you using Java rather than another language?

"One goal of the team was, to provide access to archived data for later analysis over the Internet. Because the Internet root servers are mostly Linux based systems, we decided to choose Java. So we can use the base software to run in race and Internet mode. This saved us from developing a second server program.

Other reasons were a possible client port to mobile devices, the easy communication between the base and clients using object streams, and last but not least: the many established libraries and tools that saved us a lot of work."

Why are you using Jep rather than some other software?

"During the planning and design phase, we encountered, that the use of simple equations is not sufficient. We needed something that can also handle variables, strings and customized functions within formulas. Another criteria was an effective evaluation to view live data with low latency and have a low CPU load for longer battery life time of our laptops while testing the car."

Which Jep features are you using?

"The default functions, predefined constants and Boolean operators were already a very good basis. But we needed to define several additional functions for accessing raw data, sensors, characteristic maps, car statics and so on. Therefore it sometimes was necessary to process a varying number of arguments or have not only numeric values as a result of the equation. Jep made it possible! It was very easy to integrate and customize Jep to match our requirements."

We say "Toi toi toi!" - good luck - to the German team in this year's events and for the years ahead!