Circuit and Safety Analysis System (CSAS)

Posted on 12:15 AM by Admin

Success is all about being in the right place at the right time ….. and the axiom is a guiding principle for designers of  motorsport circuits. To avoid problems you need know where and when things are likely to go wrong before cars turn a wheel –and anticipating accidents is a science.
Take barriers, for example .there is little point erecting them in the wrong place –but predicting the right place is a black art. The FIA has developed bespoke software, the Circuit and Safety Analysis System (CSAS), to predict problem areas on F1 circuits.
Where and when cars leave circuits is due to the complex interaction between their design, the driver’s reaction and the specific configuration of the track, and the CSAS allows the input of many variables-lap speeds ,engine power curves, car weight changes, aerodynamic characteristics etc –to predict how cars may leave the circuit at particular places. The variables are complex. The impact point of a car continuing in a straight line at a corner is easy to predict, but if the driver has any remaining control and alters the car’s trajectory, or if a mechanical fault introduces fresh variables, its final destination is tricky to model.
Modern tyre barriers are built of road tyres with plastic tubes sandwiched between them. The side facing the track is covered with conveyor belting to prevent wheels becoming snagged and distorting the barrier. The whole provides a deformable ‘cushion’ a principle that has found its way to civilian roads. Barriers made of air filled cells, currently under investigation may be the final answer. Another important safety factor is the road surface. Racing circuits are at the cutting edge of surface technology, experimenting with new materials for optimum performance.

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