UK Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie led the ORACLE TEAM USA to one of the most extraordinary sporting comebacks in history, coming from an 8-1 deficit to win eight consecutive races and claim victory at the America’s Cup this week.
Ruckus Wireless’ Smart Wi-Fi products were chosen by ORACLE TEAM USA for on-board race boat data transfer, with Ruckus SmartMesh networking for boat-to-shore connectivity, and for its indoor, high-speed WLAN.
The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology transmitted critical telemetry, wind and load data from sensors located throughout the boat to crewmembers equipped with wearable, Wi-Fi-enabled displays.
Immediate access to this information allowed the crews to quickly make real-time adjustments to sail trim to enable maximum speed through the water. The communication systems were carefully configured to comply with strenuous rules relating to the information conveyed to the boat crews when racing.
The Wi-Fi system was also used to gather and interpret data from practice sailing sessions (training) to ORACLE TEAM USA design and production teams for faster post-race processing and evaluation. The team used very high-bandwidth applications to gather and assess performance data during its tests, such as the boat’s speed using different sail trim configurations.
On board each ORACLE TEAM USA race boat, data was collected from hundreds of sensors and was processed by an on-board local server. A single Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 802.11n AP then transmitted this data to different Wi-Fi devices the crew members’ referenced.
At the end of each training session, Ruckus SmartMesh Wi-Fi technology was used to backhaul gigabytes of data collected on the boat to servers within ORACLE TEAM USA’s operation that processed the information for the team’s various design and test groups.
The crew had reliable access to crucial information affecting race performance or how the craft was responding to wave or load pressure.