3/14/2011-Record turnout expected for Snowmobile Challenge
March 14, 2011
Filed under Features
A record number of teams have registered for the SAE 2011 Snowmobile Challenge, which is sponsored by snowmobile manufacturers along with other industry-supporting businesses.
The event was set for March 7-12 at Michigan Technological University.
Held at the University’s Keweenaw Research Center, the Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and re-engineer it.
The snowmobiles competed in a variety of events, including emissions, noise fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, static display, cold start and design.
The university snowmobiles are expected to be cost-effective and comfortable for the operator to drive. The intent of the competition is to design a touring snowmobile that will primarily be ridden on groomed snowmobile trails. Teams are expected to add innovative solutions for improving on performance of the base sled that they start with. Design judges (written and oral) looked for innovations and incorporated that into their scores. An objective of the competition is to improve on fuel economy. In addition to the Endurance Event, fuel economy was evaluated in the In-Service and Lab Emissions Events. Additional weighting in the overall scoring was given to fuel economy in the competition.
The minimum performance expectations for a trail snowmobile are set by the rules as a sled that by design will go 100 miles without refueling and can attain a trail speed of 45 mph on a smooth trail. Additionally they should be able to traverse 500 feet in 12 seconds or less. More info is available at www.mtukrc.org. PSB