34th America's Cup: multihulls!

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    If the whispers from the above site are confirmed, that is exactly what we might have seen.

    However, it is a site of a NZ blogger, reporting a hearsay info. IMO, it should be taken with a grain of salt and verified before taking conclusions. It is a matter of quite normal emotional bias of NZ fans these days, hence no offence intended. Might be as well a correct info - a dinner with few glasses of wine can make miracles, when it comes to make people talk. ;)
  2. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    The problem is that a complex enough level mechanism can function like a mechanical computer, and a complex enough mechanical computer can function like an electronic computer... Theoretically, anything an electronic computer can accomplish can be simulated by a mechanical computer, and vice versa - provided that the complex mechanism uses a small only amount of the energy provided by the grinders.
    So, where do we draw the line ? Where does the mechanisms make the humans obsolete ? Where does the technology eliminate the sailors ?
    Just a few grinders grinding, and one helmsman ( much like a drone pilot/operator ) pushing buttons and turning the wheel or the joystick, siting comfortably on an armchair ...:)
  3. petereng
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    petereng Senior Member

    This conversation has been covered earlier but its a great one to continue. So Xarax what about the car racers that have electronic engine timing? Can't we have a speedo or a VMG meter on our boat? We have pop up rudders on our cats in case we hiot something, so can't we have a foil that reacts to load? Cheers Peter s
  4. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Well it's all over. Amazing sights these AC72s' even if you rarely get the full speed from the TV. Great sailing all round and no catastrophic gear failures, of course if it had been in 33Kn max....

    But for an unrealistic time limit on Race 13 part 1!, I'm not sure the Americans would be celebrating. However they have obviously changed their foils and speed upwind. Like the old saying ' Boatspeed makes you a tactical genius' and that was proven once again.

    Well done to both teams.
  5. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    Sure we can - but if the foil reacts to load, and its reaction is monitored by an electronic computer, and the computer controls a mechanism that acts back onto the foil and alters its angle and improves the pitching of the whole boat, using energy provided by the grinders, that is a different story.
  6. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    I think it is fairly easy to make some distinctions as far as classifying different types of assist. I'd prefer someone close to the event to make the relavent distinctions. If I tried, there would be a lot of red herrings, stuff from construction equipment and other areas that may not apply at all here.

    One distinction I would make is adaptiveness. Adapting the response of the system to which leg is being sailed and for tacks, gybes, and bear-aways could be fully automated quite easily with a timer or sequencing mechanism. When a control system has a target that it is trying to achieve, as opposed to just responding to inputs, those are two very different things. And if the target is supplied by automation instead of by direct input from a crew, that is different again.

    Not only should stored energy not be employed by the boat for control, stored information should not be employed by the boat either. No sequencing, no timers, no telemetry, no scripts, no learned behavior, no digitally formatted anything, including fluidics. Hydraulic feedback should be limited to fixed orifice flow controls.

    Peter, do you know if either boat's control system would pass my stored info test?

    Dumb boat - Smart crew. Otherwise, the next AC will need the world's two best grader operators for skippers. It takes years of practice to be able to get everything out of a hydraulic control system.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  7. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    On the contrary, I think it is almost impossible. Even a humble spring that is loaded by the previous wave and can be unloaded by the next can be considered as a mechanism that has stored information.
    "Sequencing, timers, telemetry" were used since ancient times - what is an astrolabe, a hourglass, a water clock, a dioptre, a theodolite ?

    An odometer for measuring distance was first described by Vitruvius around 27 and 23 BC, although the actual inventor may have been Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) during the First Punic War. Hero of Alexandria (10 AD - 70 AD) describes a similar device in chapter 34 of his Dioptra... Some researchers have speculated that the device might have included technology similar to that of the Greek Antikythera mechanism.

    In a sense, any "automaton" ( a self-operating machine, or robot ) is a kind of a computing device...It does not matter if this computer is electronic or mechanical, digital or analogue, a linear series of simple mechanical relays, the one after the other, or a 3D grid of supercomputers ( are we sure that there was no supercomputer on board of Oracle USA ? :) ) Information about the elements and the boats was sensed, gathered, stored and processed in one way or another - so I would nt be surprized if, in the next America s Cup, the faster boat would be the boat with the faster on board computer ..:)
    1 person likes this.
  8. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    First Foiling Americas Cup

    Thanks for that, Peter!! Very informative and contrary to the cheating crap being invoked by the less informed. I very much appreciate the info.
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    First Foiling America's Cup: Property of the USA!

    I think that stuff is just silly nonsense, Slavi.......
  10. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    Just in case you mean me, I have to say that I do not consider the use of computers as cheating ! :) Now, I do not believe there is anybody on planet Earth, outside the small circle of US Oracle designers, who is more "informed" than anybody else !
    Dalton and Barker had not mentioned anything about "cheating" and "electronic Frankestein boat" - they had just referred to a faster boat - so I believe their followers should also do the same. If the "code breaking" discovery, was it an effective more or less complex servo-mechanism installed on board, or the optimum relation between angles of the wing, the foils, the apparent wind, the weight distribution, etc, had been discovered by the Kiwis, I have no doubt they would have used it without informing anybody, as they used the dagger boards as lifting foils, when nobody thought ithat would be possible.
    However, the issue of how much "robotic" the sailboats of the next AC should be is complex, interesting, and will not be solved by easy one liners, like the " As long as it has no stored energy it would be legal " , I am afraid...
  11. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    First Foiling America's Cup: Property of the USA!

    Trying to stoke cheating as the only explanation for Oracles comeback victory-most disgusting:


    From sail-world.com: http://www.sail-world.com/USA/Americas-Cup:-Speculation-on-Oracle-Team-USAs-foiling-system/115070
    The following notes are circulating in Auckland media circles, as an explanation for Oracle Team USA's improved foiling performance, as time progressed in the 34th America's Cup.
    The notes were dated September 23, 2013, but were received by Sail-World mid-morning today.

    This afternoon, an Oracle spokesman said that the team used the same set of foils through the regatta and that the 'special foil adjuster system, was there before the regatta started'.

    The matter was taken by Emirates Team NZ to the International Jury on September 3, and a Decision issued on September 6, just one day before the regatta started, was rejected on the basis on being filed outside the allowable time, but added a rider, that had it been issued inside the time limit, but on the basis of what had been heard, the application would have been unlikely to have been upheld.

    Emirates Team NZ's Ray Davies said 'their boat is rock steady up wind, that takes us a lot of effort, and we have been trying to it for a long, long time, and yet they master it in just a few days.

    It is well recognised that Oracle was having serious foiling stability difficulties at the outset of the regatta and that their performance could not match that of ETNZ.

    Half way through the series it was acknowledged that Oracle had fitted an automatic control to their hydrofoil trim, and that this modification was approved by the measurement authorities.

    Since this modification Oracle's performance has almost unbelievably improved. This has been 'explained' by skipper Jimmy Spithill as being due to the superhuman efforts of the crew to improve their handling skills. However, in view of the intensive training Oracle were able to do, prior to the regatta, with their highly skilled team partner, it seems unlikely that only now have they discovered the 'magic bullet' they they clearly have. It is much more likely to be the result of the modifications, possibly enabled by their surprising decision to use their lay day card and the subsequent lucky postponements.

    It must be remembered that this is the first time that this contest has been sailed by yachts 'flying ' on Hydrofoils and it is probable that new and different criteria should have been applied.

    In the aeronautical world it has long been known that the stability of swept wing aircraft can rapidly be lost by uncontrolled yaw leading to a dangerous situation known as 'Dutch Roll'.

    A device known as 'Little Herbie' was developed during the commissioning of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets over 40 years ago, to over come this tendency. Little Herbies, or 'Stability Augmentation Systems' (SAS) as these are now designated, are equipped with sensors such as Accelerometers and Gyros which can detect and instigate corrections to stability with a speed and accuracy which exceeds the ability of even experienced airline pilots. They are therefore now installed in virtually all swept-wing aircraft.

    The 'legality' of this device has been justified and accepted on the basis that it does not actually 'drive' the trim of the foils.....this is still performed by the muscle power of the crew, via hydraulic linkages. That may be so, but the device, using it's sensing and directives, has been described as 'automatic'. This implies that the trim of the foils is determined by what can only be described as 'superhuman' technology. If this technology has ben used to overcome the foiling stability difficulties of Oracle it will have enabled the use of higher speed/lower drag foils which the crew would otherwise be unable to manage. This would give a significant speed advantage during foiling. This has been clearly in evidence since the modification. Improvement in stability and speed has been staggering.

    The high speed/low drag foils do have a downside in light conditions where, due to their lesser lifting characteristic, foiling is difficult or impossible. This was also clearly seen in the abandoned Race 13 when ETNZ were only 4 minutes from the finish, with a lead of over 1000metres.

    Oracle Team USA have not provided any official comment on the system they used.

    While it would seem that the actuator device is legal if it is attached directly to its own power supply, the wider question remain is whether a boat should be raced with a computer, rather than a human, driving a primary control function.
    by Sail-World
    I don't know yet how this system works but Petereng described that it could work quite legally. And to believe the implied cheating by Gary, Slavi, sail-world and a couple others, you'd have to believe that the measurers and the international jury(who penalized Oracle!) are being bought off by Larry Ellison. What complete ,total horsemanure!
  12. farjoe
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    farjoe Senior Member

    The conspiracy theory that Oracle had a special fly by wire system is interesting but can anyone who is proposing it explain why this only gave an advantage upwind and not downwind where speeds are substantially higher and control needs to be more real time?

    Also could the same theory perhaps explain why ETNZ were so much more superior to Luna Rossa despite having basically the same boat?
  13. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    While it would seem that the actuator device is legal if it is attached directly to its own power supply, the wider question remain is whether a boat should be raced with a computer, rather than a human, driving a primary control function.

    Boats were raced with the help of mechanical or electronic "computers" - complex servo-mechanisms that sense and process "information" gathered from their environment, since we had started to use mechanical (windvanes) and electronic autopilots... The issue is the extent to which we wish this trend to continue. I am not sure that one can draw a well-defined line, separating the most-"mechanical" from the almost-"robotic" sailboats... Frankly, I would be glad to see the development of fast sailboats, even if they use as much computing power as they need - but I believe that the average sailor/athlete :) would not be so happy with this.


    Stability augmentation systems

    A stability augmentation system (SAS) is another type of automatic flight control system; however, instead of maintaining the aircraft on a predetermined attitude or flight path, the SAS will actuate the aircraft flight controls to dampen out aircraft buffeting regardless of the attitude or flight path. SAS systems can automatically stabilize the aircraft in one or more axes. The most common type of SAS is the yaw damper which is used to eliminate the Dutch roll tendency of swept-wing aircraft. Some yaw dampers are integral to the autopilot system while others are stand-alone systems.

    Yaw dampers usually consist of a yaw rate sensor (either a gyroscope or angular accelerometer), a computer/amplifier and a servo actuator. The yaw damper uses yaw rate sensor to sense when the aircraft begins a Dutch Roll. A computer processes the signals from the yaw rate sensor to determine the amount of rudder movement that is required to dampen out the Dutch roll. The computer then commands the servo actuator to move the rudder that amount. The Dutch roll is dampened out and the aircraft becomes stable about the yaw axis. Because Dutch roll is an instability that is inherent to all swept-wing aircraft, most swept-wing aircraft have some sort of yaw damper system installed.

    There are two types of yaw dampers: series yaw dampers and parallel yaw dampers. The servo actuator of a series yaw damper will actuate the rudder independently of the rudder pedals while the servo actuator of a parallel yaw damper is clutched to the rudder control quadrant and will result in pedal movement when the system commands the rudder to move.

    Some aircraft have stability augmentation systems that will stabilize the aircraft in more than a single axis. B-52s, for example, require both pitch and yaw SAS in order to provide a stable bombing platform. Many helicopters have pitch, roll and yaw SAS systems. Pitch and roll SAS systems operate much the same way as the yaw damper described above; however, instead of dampening out Dutch roll, they will dampen pitch and roll oscillations or buffeting to improve the overall stability of the aircraft.
  14. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    I do no believe that a "special fly-by-wire" system ( some sort of semi-automatic servo-mechanism, working by the energy provided by the grinders ) is illegal under the AC72 rules - on the contrary, I believe that, had it been used ( which we do not know yet...), it would had been quite an interesting technological development, indeed. However, the explanation of why it would have been more efficient in the upwind leg is almost self-evident : it is a system that assists the stability of the boat and minimizes pitching by "selecting" and continuously adjusting the optimum angle of the foils at each instance - so it enables the boat to almost fly on its foils even in the slower boat speeds during the upwind leg. The real enemy of the foils is not the higher speeds, it is the lower speeds !

  15. salglesser
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    salglesser Junior Member

    Congratulations to the Oracle Team! Nicely done!

    (We are proud to be one of the preferred suppliers for the Oracle team).

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