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Data Acquisition and Performance Optimisation

“Performance optimisation within competitive motorsport through data acquisition and computational analysis”

Matt Dent, Data Analyst and Racing Engineer 2014/2015


This research project aimed to investigate various methods of data acquisition over a range of vehicular characteristics and to construct a standalone system for use within competitive motorsport.

The initial specification for this project related to the benefits of understanding and manipulating physical data from a testing environment, and apply such knowledge towards the improvement in performance of a competitive vehicular system. This required a data acquisition system to operate within a closed environment. This occurs when the vehicle’s ECU is inaccessible, and therefore an external system required construction to measure user defined inputs.

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Through extensive research, it became apparent the ideal solution for this scenario would be to start afresh to implement, calibrate and analyse a completely new system. However, this would not be time nor cost effective, and led to the decision to implement a standalone ECU and data logging system independent of the engine management system controlled by the stock ECU.
The result from this project introduced a pioneering DAQ system into Warwick Universities Formula Student team, Warwick Racing, which opened the potential for expansion in both design and performance improvements.