Switzerland-based Fischer Connectors, a developer of high-performance connectivity solutions, is on board the SP80, where it will support sensor data transmission. This kiteboat aims to reach the sensational speed of 80 knots and thus break the current world record.
SP80, a kiteboat that aims to break the speed record for a sailing boat, is in the final stages of design. The team decided to rely on Fischer Connectors for the data transmission solutions that interconnect the various sensors the boat will be equipped with.
The technical challenge is to sail at a speed of 80 knots (148.16 km/h), using only wind propulsion. This would be 14.55 knots faster than the record of 65.45 knots (121.21 km/h) set in 2012.
Halfway between a Formula 1 car and a fighter jet, the SP80 is specifically designed to glide on water, with a super-ventilated triangular hydrofoil and towed by a huge kitewing.
“There are several projects in the running to break the current world speed record for a sailboat,” says Mayeul van den Broek, CEO of startup SP80 based in Renens, near Lausanne, Switzerland, created in 2019 by a team of engineers and students from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL). “It is a fascinating technological adventure, a real challenge to physical laws that put us to the test.”
Behind this ambitious project is a team of 50 people, currently working on the design of the SP80 at the Persico Marine shipyard in Italy.
Fischer Connectors, a key ally in breaking the record.
Such a challenge cannot be undertaken without careful monitoring of sea trials. The SP80 team decided to entrust the collection of data that monitors the boat’s structure and pilot performance to Fischer Connectors’ electronic solutions. The Swiss-based provider of high-performance connectivity solutions is already active in the marine and underwater, defence and security, and medical fields.
During the design phase, the sensors are used to improve and control the strength of the high-performance materials (carbon steel, titanium, or stainless steel) of the boat’s structure. The super-ventilated foil design optimises stability and avoids cavitation (a phenomenon where water starts to boil around the wings at extreme speeds, slowing the boat down).
During the time trial, data is collected from the various electronic modules and control sensors directly integrated into the boat and from the monitoring sensor communications between the pilot and the technical staff ashore, including biometric data transferred via the sensors worn by the pilot, such as vital and safety parameters.
The final design of the boat to set the new record will be unveiled to the public in spring 2022. The launch of the boat will take place in late 2022, while the first tests are planned for spring or autumn 2023.
(Fischer Connectors on board SP80 to break the world record – barchemagazine.com – February 2022)