By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by following this link Accept & Close ›
Space Blog

1000mph Bloodhound car relies on satellite imagery

When you’re driving a car faster than the speed of a bullet, the surface conditions of your track are vital.
There aren’t a lot of places suitable to run a 1000mph car and it took Bloodhound SSC, the project attempting to break the land speed record, several years to choose the Hakskeen salt Pan in South Africa as their track.

The Hakskeen Pan floods regularly during rainy season (October– March) which makes its surface flat and smooth– ideal for high speed testing. However, it is only when it is completely dry that the surface has the load bearing capacity to support the car, which weighs over 7 tonnes and has 6 times the horsepower of an entire grid of F1 cars. As such, it is crucial to the success and safety of the project to know as much as possible about the surface conditions on Hakskeen Pan.

UK-DMC2 image of the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, captured on the 25th April 2013 © DMCii. The white area is the salt Pan and the light blue discolourations on its surface, the flooded areas. Click to enlarge image.

The Pan is remote and because it covers an area of 20 million m2, would be almost impossible to monitor accurately and regularly from the ground.

Imagery from SSTL’s remote sensing subsidiary company, DMCii, helped the Bloodhound team to understand more about the environment they’re operating in: quantifying flooding to understand the drying-out process and identify areas on the surface that could be problematic and will require closer monitoring before carrying out a test run.
Image courtesy of Bloodhound SSC
The latest image, taken by the SSTL-built UK-DMC2 satellite on the 25th April showed that the Pan would take just weeks to dry out from the heavy flooding that occurred in March, instead of the months previously thought. This information is vital to the team who are currently planning a wheel test that is due to take place once the Pan has completely dried out.

It’s not just the record that they’re trying to achieve; outreach and education are also an important part of the Bloodhound project. Members of the team have been visiting 5,000 schools across the country to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The lack of future engineering skills in the UK is a pressing issue for the entire high tech sector and an area that SSTL not only supports but also actively participates in.

We can’t wait to see the Supersonic car in action. Go Team Bloodhound!





16 May 20130 Comments1 Comment

Back to Blog

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
 Security code

About This Blog

SSTL's lowdown on cost effective space technology, small satellites, space science and interplanetary exploration.

Post Archive

October 2016(3)
September 2016(1)
July 2016(1)
June 2016(1)
April 2016(1)
March 2016(4)
February 2016(3)
December 2015(2)
November 2015(3)
October 2015(3)
July 2015(1)
May 2015(0)
May 2015(1)
April 2015(1)
March 2015(2)
February 2015(2)
January 2015(2)
December 2014(1)
November 2014(2)
October 2014(2)
September 2014(1)
July 2014(2)
June 2014(3)
May 2014(1)
April 2014(1)
March 2014(1)
February 2014(2)
January 2014(2)
November 2013(3)
October 2013(2)
September 2013(2)
July 2013(3)
June 2013(2)
May 2013(2)
April 2013(4)
March 2013(1)
February 2013(3)
January 2013(5)
December 2012(6)
November 2012(5)
October 2012(4)
September 2012(4)
August 2012(1)
July 2012(6)
June 2012(1)
May 2012(2)
April 2012(5)
March 2012(3)
February 2012(3)
January 2012(1)
December 2011(1)
November 2011(4)
October 2011(5)
September 2011(4)
August 2011(3)
July 2011(4)
June 2011(6)
May 2011(3)
April 2011(1)
March 2011(3)
February 2011(2)
January 2011(3)
December 2010(2)
November 2010(1)
October 2010(2)
September 2010(4)
August 2010(4)
July 2010(2)
June 2010(2)
May 2010(2)
April 2010(4)
March 2010(4)
February 2010(4)
January 2010(3)
December 2009(2)
November 2009(5)
October 2009(2)
September 2009(6)
August 2009(4)
July 2009(3)
June 2009(1)
May 2009(2)
March 2009(2)
February 2009(5)
January 2009(2)
December 2008(3)
November 2008(6)
October 2008(5)
September 2008(3)
August 2008(5)
June 2008(1)
May 2008(3)
April 2008(5)
March 2008(1)
February 2008(1)
January 2008(3)
December 2007(3)
November 2007(6)
October 2007(3)
September 2007(3)
August 2007(1)
July 2007(1)
June 2007(2)
May 2007(2)
April 2007(1)
January 2007(3)
December 2006(1)
September 2006(1)
May 2006(2)
January 2006(1)
December 2005(7)

Show/Hide All

If you like Space Blog, why not subscribe by RSS by clicking the subscribe button, or to recieve updates by email click the subscribe by email button.

*Comments Policy
SSTL reserves the right not to publish comments if they are deemed inappropriate.