Thursday, September 26, 2013

Computer science wins the 34th America's Cup

Well it wasn't the result we wanted but today we finally learned what won the America's Cup - it was computer science. No I don't mean Oracle (though of course Oracle Team USA did win). I mean Oracle's Speed Augmentation System (SAS). This is an automated computer controlled fly-by-wire system that adjusts Oracle's hydrofoils automatically. Team New Zealand's hydrofoils are adjusted manually by a crew member. Apparently Boeing helped OTUSA with the technology, which is essentially the same as the fly-by-wire systems that continually adjust the flight surfaces of modern aircraft. This explains the remarkable speed gains that OTUSA have shown in the last 10 days, effectively locking the Kiwi's out of the cup. The SAS just gives OTUSA a more stable foiling platform and stability equals speed. So far other that what the TV commentators have been saying I've been unable to find any details of the system online, but I'll keep looking.