Thornlea Secondary School in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada is looking to replace their aging CO2 cartridge launch system attached to their modular (up to 64' maximum in pre assembled sections) Model Drag Racing track. The project calls for a new system to be built that will be powered off of a air compressor to reduce the cost of launching the model drag cars. This change will allow for the testing of the model cars prior to race day, which was previously prohibited due to cost of cartridges. This will make it possible for teams to improve their car designs with working prototypes on the actual track they will be racing on.
The Criteria for the updated launch system are as follows:
-Use Compressed air from portable tank style air compressor
-Safe for students to use
-Durable and Reliable (will withstand many years of abuse from students and thousands of launches, working every time)
-Allow for testing of model cars (Cost factor of the CO2 cartridges, calculated to be approx. $0.78 per cartridge, prevented students from the ability to test their cars prior to race day)
-Ability to launch only one side of the track, or both sides with as little delay as possible
-Must be easy to maintain
More criteria may be added and some removed as the project goes along, for example, one of the requirements added as of recent is that all code must be open source. The racetrack also has a KelAccell race timing unit installed which this project shall not damaged or interfere with the operation of.