Kvaser’s standalone data logger helps FST Lisboa to Spanish DV victory

06/12/2022 by Kvaser

FSTLisboa 2022 season update: Kvaser first sponsored FST Lisboa back in 2021, and, with the help of our Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB, they debugged, diagnosed, and redesigned their FST11 driverless car (DV) to become even more competitive for the 2022 season.

During the summer of 2022, the team took part in arguably the most prestigious Formula Student competition in Europe, Formula Student Germany (FSG). Tiago Rebelo, the team’s External Relations Manager, explained what their results meant to the team:

“I’m proud to say that in FSG, the FST11 achieved 3rd place in the “Driverless Cup”. This was our first overall podium in FSG. I believe that this result demonstrates the future results that our team could obtain and it shows how invested we are in our autonomous project.”

The team also competed in Formula Student Spain (FSS) at the beginning of September, claiming 1st place in the DV competition! Their plan for the new season is to build the FST12, with “brand new objectives regarding weight, efficiency, and autonomous systems.”

“Obviously, none of this would be possible without your help, and we would like to deeply thank KVASER for your support,” said Rebelo.

Thanks Tiago, and well done FSTLisboa, fantastic results. Wishing you the best of luck for 2023!

Original story follows below.


Founded in 1911, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Portugal’s hilly coastal capital city of Lisbon specialises in the fields of architecture, engineering, science and technology, and is involved with numerous research, development and innovation (RD&I) activities.

The university’s Formula Student Team (FST Lisboa) develops formula racing cars to compete in Formula Student competitions across Europe. To evolve, the team needs to be able to validate new prototype design choices and to do this effectively, they install multiple sensors to measure longitudinal and lateral acceleration, drivetrain temperature, suspension travel, brake disk temperature, GPS, etc.

Kvaser sponsored the team with a Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB, a five channel, high performance, CAN (controller area network) bus interface and standalone datalogger that allows users to monitor and collect data from up to five CAN channels using just one device.

Tiago Rebelo is the Sponsors Manager for the Formula Student team (FST Lisboa). He commented:

“With the Kvaser Memorator Pro, we can log all CAN transmissions, thus saving nearly all the car data from tests and competition events. Having all this data allows for extensive studies by all disciplines involved in developing a formula car. Kvaser also provides tools to extract these logs in multiple formats, which is critical for all our departments to be able to treat that data with tools more suitable for their studies.”


2021: electric and driverless

In 2021, the FST Lisboa team competed with their FST10e (10th generation prototype) in the electric category. And, for the first time in the team’s history, they competed in the driverless category with FST10d (their FST09e that they heavily adapted to gain driverless capabilities). Both prototypes competed in Formula Student Spain (FSS) and Formula Student Germany (FSG), managing to place 3rd in the driverless vehicle category (DV) and 4th in the electric vehicle category (EV) at the Spanish competition.

Notes Rebelo:

“Competing for the first time in the autonomous category last summer was a very rich learning experience. By being constantly pushed to improve our own systems and with the knowledge that is shared between all teams at Formula Student competitions, we start this new season eager to design new systems and implement new concepts which will allow us to be even more competitive.”


2022: autonomous from scratch!

In the summer of 2022, FST Lisboa will compete in Formula Student Germany (FSG), Formula Student Spain (FSS), and Formula Student Austria (FSA), with the FST 11, their first prototype designed from scratch to be autonomous. This poses a great challenge since every department of the team has been tasked with accommodating the new systems required for the car to be driverless, while maintaining a high standard of performance and reliability. To keep up with all these objectives FST Lisboa relies on over 50 team members, working in 8 different departments.

“The FST 11 will be much more competitive when being driven by a pilot as well as in driverless mode. To accomplish this, nearly no system will remain untouched and a lot of time and effort is being put into redesigning a big part of the car’s electronics.”

To test all of these new designs and debug the new car, they need a tool capable of logging three CAN buses (essential communication, sensors, driverless systems). That’s where the Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB and Kvaser’s software tools for bus diagnostics and characterisation come into play:

“We retrieve data such as bus usage and error reports to validate our software and hardware design choices. We have used this equipment on previous cars and are very thankful for being able to count on Kvaser once again this year.”

Using the CB version of the Kvaser Memorator allows for better onboard integration, as all data is saved and transmitted during the car’s operation. This full logging philosophy gives the team the chance to rewind to previous testing sessions – even previous vehicles – to better study performance and improve their designs.


The Kvaser tools in a little more detail

The Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB provides the team with full logs for their prototypes, giving them the ability to debug car behavior reported by the drivers even after testing, making the debugging process much more efficient. For example, a 4wd prototype with one motor per wheel allows the team to implement torque vectoring algorithms to maximise the traction and lateral performance of the car. In-house algorithms have been developed to accomplish this, but in order to develop and optimise, they needed to analyse the impact these algorithms were having on the prototype’s performance – this was made possible thanks to the logs stored by the Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB.

“When it comes to vehicle dynamics, having this much data allows us to constantly analyse and make fundamental choices about car setup and control parameters to best extract performance.”

The ability to have stored logs with all the car’s signals allows the team to improve its knowledge across a wide variety of sectors, running log information offline using specialist software to then develop different studies and simulator validations with regards to tyres, suspension loads, etc. The control department is then tasked with estimating slip angles and slip ratios of the tyres to maximise the car’s performance on the track. For this they need the speed and reliability of the Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB to extract data in the middle of testing to adjust their controllers and estimators.

André Costa & Manuel Fonseca Ferreira are also members of FST Lisboa:

“Recently we have also used our Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB to log a test where specific runs were performed to validate our aerodynamic package. In this, runs at constant velocity and coast down were made. By storing data from potentiometers placed in the shock absorbers, from the car’s attitude and velocity we were able to validate for the first time the aerodynamic loads with the aid of vehicle dynamics models.”

These are just a few examples of how the Kvaser tools enable FST Lisboa to make better and more innovative cars year after year.


More information & dates

The Formula Student series competitions challenge teams of university undergraduate and graduate students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop, and compete with small, formula-style vehicles. The competitions give teams the chance to demonstrate and prove both their creativity and engineering skills in comparison to teams from other universities around the world.

FSA 2022
24th to 28th July 2022 at the Red Bull race track in Spielberg, Austria.

FSG 2022
15th to 21st August 2022 in Hockenheim, Germany.

FSS 2022
29th August to 4th September 2022 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Spain.


Which Kvaser products are FST Lisboa using?

Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS CB is a five channel, high performance, CAN (controller area network) bus interface and standalone datalogger that allows users to monitor and collect data from up to five CAN channels using just one device. It is supplied ‘bare board’ i.e. without a housing, and can thus be built into any system. The Memorator Pro 5xHS CB supports CAN FD.

Configurable using Kvaser’s Memorator Config Tool, Memorator Pro 5xHS CB is capable of running user-developed scripts, written in the Kvaser t programming language. Guidance in creating t programs is supplied. The device is also supported in CANlib, Kvaser’s universal software development kit.


Who is involved?


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