Cradlepoint and POYNTING optimise UGent Racing Car Communication

Project Info:
  • Customer: UGENT Racing
  • Location: Gent, Belgium
  • POYNTING Product: 2 x PUCK-5 Antennas
  • Router: Cradlepoint IBR900

The Background

The Formula Student competitions are a series of engineering competitions held annually in various European countries. University students from all over the continent show and race a car they developed from scratch. There are three different kinds of competitions: combustion, electric and driverless. UGent Racing, focus on the electric and driverless cup.

The Challenge

“When building a new race car each year, it is vital to maximise the information we can gather about our cars”, says Lucas van Dijck from UGent Racing.

So, this year, for their second competition car, they decided to develop a custom data capturing platform. The goal of this system is to act like a black box, gathering information like the racing line, voltages, and temperatures inside their self-developed battery. Even the aerodynamics behaviour around the vehicle wings is communicated.

Aside from storing this information, they want a reliable, low latency connection to the engineers during testing and race events so they can understand and tweak the car’s behaviour in real-time. UGent Racing have worked with POYNTING in the past for their autonomous test platform and POYNTING was the obvious partner to find the perfect antenna for their needs.

The Solution

By combining a PUCK-5 antenna with a Cradlepoint IBR900 router they got the perfect solution.

The PUCK antenna offers a small profile antenna ideal for the transportation market. The PUCK-5 consists of a 5-in-1 antenna system within a single housing, featuring 2X2 MIMO LTE, 2X2 MIMO Wi-Fi (Dual-band 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) and GPS/GLONASS.

The Cradlepoint IBR900 is a compact, ruggedised Gigabit-Class LTE router for advanced in-vehicle and IoT connectivity.

Previously, they had separate commercial GPS and cellular antennas, but the PUCK’s consolidated design enhances the strength of the sensor mount, reduces weight, and improves aerodynamics.

These small, but robust antennas enhance the reliability of their pipeline by providing stable and consistent connectivity. As a result, testing is improved, and the development of their full-size electric race car is accelerated.

The Result

When using the PUCK, the team noted:

  • Ease of installation and improved aerodynamic finish.
  • The cables are shielded by a robust sleeve, ensuring a polished look, and providing additional protection.
  • Enhanced reliability and consistency of 4G/LTE-5G connectivity and GPS bearings
  • Accelerated development process due to increased accuracy of readings and improved real-time data.

The Customer Said:

Using the POYNTING PUCK-5, we can collect GPS data while racing, along with providing us with global connectivity using 4G and local connectivity using WiFi!

– Lucas Van Dijck – UGent Racing

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