Solar Car #3 Sees the Light of Day
In light of its past successes in the field of solar vehicle technology, the School of Engineering and Technology has begun to design and build the Solar Eagle III, the School's third solar-powered electric car. The car will compete in the upcoming Sunrayce '97, an intercollegiate competition from Indianapolis, Indiana to Golden, Colorado. The cross-country race is scheduled for June 1997.
In order to identify and train a team of qualified students to work on the project, the School inaugurated a new course in the fall quarter - Solar Vehicle Design. More than 70 interested students showed up for the first class meeting. The course presents material on the design, construction and racing of a solar-powered car, with a focus of what has been accomplished in two Solar Eagle projects at Cal State L.A., and is open to students in all majors. Students who have taken the class are being encouraged to apply for positions on the Solar Eagle III Student Team.
Bob Steinbacher, retired JPL project manager, has volunteered his time and expertise as the Solar Eagle III project manager, with general oversight responsibilities. In charge of mechanical design and fabrication is Dick Roberto (Mechanical Engineering) who, as faculty adviser, led the past two Solar Eagles to national fourth-place and third-place victories in 1990 and 1993. Mike Obermeyer (Electrical Engineering), who was a technician on the first two projects, is in charge of electronics instrumentation/power. Jim Heideman (Technology), who is new to the School and the project, is in charge of the design and fabrication of the solar power system; Dean Ray Landis is heading fundraising efforts and is in charge of race strategy and logistics.
The University's first solar car, the Solar Eagle, may be seen on prominent display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Solar Eagle II is currently being shown at many area middle and high schools, and is in demand at parades, ride-share fairs and other environmental events. For information about the Solar Eagle projects, call (323) 343-4500.