The Williams pod is for thermal cameras for tyrte testing, its been used on and off cince the middl eof last year. Heres Sam Michaels response to my questions when it was first run last year.
The Pod contains four cameras one for each wheel?
YES IT CAN BE SET UP LIKE THIS. IT IS EASIER TO START ON ONE WHEEL OR ONE AXLE
Does the pod interfere with the aero as its seems quite ungainly?
YES, AND IT IS HEAVY SO WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION AND CG HEIGHT IS AFFECTED
Does it gives a truer picture of the heat signature across the tyre including hot spots around the grooves and shoulders?
YES, IN FACT IT GIVES THE ONLY PICTURE ACROSS THE TYRE AS THE NORMAL TEMPERATURE SENSORS ARE STATICALLY MOUNTED SO DON'T ALLOW FOR ANY OF THE LARGE TYRE DEFLECTIONS SEEEN. IT CAN GIVE TRENDS BETWEEN DIFFERENT SETUPS, ETC. WHICH IS MORE WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR RATHER THAN ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE VALUES
Will give the tyre temperature at a specific part of the track, so that set up can be tailored to maximise the tyres usage at the critical corners on the track and not the average around the lap?
MAYBE, IT IS AT AN EARLY STAGE RIGHT NOW
How is the data gathered and interpreted?
THROUGH ONBOARD DATA SYSTEM AND THEN USING A VIEWER SOFTWARE BY THE DATA ENGINEERS
How useful to development is this solution?
NOT VERY USEFUL AT THE MOMENT AS THERE ARE MANY ISSUES WITH THE SYSTEM RELIABILITY - IE. IT DOESN'T WORK YET!
Very interesting comments from Sam Michaels. It's good to hear the low-down from an insider - especially when they are happy to admit that the technology, while impressive, is still only in its developmental stage..