“Creating the world’s fastest vehicle requires innovative design, and that challenge can’t be overcome without the use of a powerful workstation, like the ThinkStation workstation,” said Ed Shadle, owner and driver, North American Eagle. “We can now obtain our test results faster by using a ThinkStation D10 workstation coupled with CATIA software, making it a perfect hub for redesigning parts, evaluating large and complex assemblies, running analyses and assessing multiple designs quickly to save huge amounts of engineering time.”
Workstations Break Design Barriers
Ed Shadle created the North American Eagle in 1998 by converting a 1957 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter jet into a vehicle capable of breaking the sound barrier. His team has optimized the vehicle’s design to reach maximum speeds, with a record so far of 400 mph. With the next test run, they expect to reach speeds of 550 mph.
Going to extreme speeds generates a variety of factors that his volunteer team of engineers and scientists must consider. For example, the degree of aerodynamics can make the difference between crashing into the ground and bulleting into the air. The North American Eagle team uses the Lenovo ThinkStation D10 workstation for all aspects of the car design, including wheels, brakes, steering and suspension. A 3-D modeling program helps them determine the right materials composition and placement for the wheels to reach speeds of up to 15,000 rpm and for braking that won’t damage the engine. This kind of intensive modeling also helps ensure the steering remains strong and the suspension stays stable at high speeds.
The ThinkStation workstation also runs computational fluid dynamics and can support multiple, simultaneous analyses to evaluate transonic shock waves that start to develop around the car starting at Mach 0.7 – 70 percent of the speed of sound. The team uses the workstation to analyze photos and information captured on a solid state drive during test runs. They work virtually from their homes as well as in their offices, using the D10 as a collaborative tool.
“We created our ThinkStation workstations and ThinkPad mobile workstations with users exactly like Ed Shadle and the North American Eagle team in mind,” said Mark Cohen, vice president, ThinkStation Workstation Business Unit, Lenovo. “These workstations are not only helping to engineer the fastest car on the planet, they are developing a design that is safe for the driver inside.”
Lenovo Mobile Workstations Improve Field Tests
The North American Eagle team also requires a reliable and durable mobile PC to maximize the work completed during field tests. The team relies on a Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds mobile workstation located inside the North American Eagle vehicle to gather data and analyze each run. The engineers and scientists graph the rate of acceleration and speeds of the vehicle via a global navigation system receiving information from 17 satellites. The system sends data to the Lenovo mobile workstation, allowing them to make necessary adjustments while still in the field.
Designed for Performance
With the introduction of the ThinkStation D20, successor to the D10, and its family members, the entry E20 and mid range S20, Lenovo has further expanded its line of workstations. These workstations offer increased performance as well as new entry-level pricing of under $600 for select models. Lenovo workstations offer the latest Intel processors including Xeon and Core i5 Series and Nvidia Quadro graphics for the most data and graphic-demanding professionals. For those who require extreme performance and mobility, Lenovo created ThinkPad mobile workstations. The ThinkPad W701ds, successor to the W700ds, gives users unparalleled innovation with a second screen and optional built-in color calibrator and Wacom digitizer with pen.