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World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge is run every two or three years from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory down the Stuart Highway to Adelaide in South Australia.

We have just competed in the World Solar Challenge 2001, so please read our WSC 2001 Trip Report for details of the adventure!

World Solar Challenge 2001 Forms

I have uploaded the forms we supplied as required for the World Solar Challenge in case they provide useful information to either folks wanting to know more about us or other teams competing in the race. Signatures and addresses have been removed.

The Course

In November 2000, Craig, Peter, his Dad Neil, and wife Nikola did a dry run driving (a normal car!) from Darwin to Adelaide to get a feel for the conditions. They collected trip notes in the form of locations of parking, cattle grids, and towns relative to the distance on the race from Darwin (although some errors crept in such that our total distance is about 3085km instead of 3010km), as well as a complete GPS map. We have not finished cleaning out the side trips etc from the GPS map, but here is a preliminary set of course notes which we will use to locate positions during the race in November this year (all things going to plan...). If you find any errors or have any comments, please let us know!

Note that the distances on the course notes are from the car's trip computer and may tend to underestimate the real distance.


We received feedback from Tim about the course data:

I've just been having a look at your trip notes for the WSC course and comparing them with Sunswift's route database. It looks like your distance reading gradually drifted below the actual distance to begin with. By cattle grid 10 we're at 924.4 km compared with 911.4 km. Then somewhere before grid 11 your distance jumps by about 100 km - at CG11 we're at 1221.8 while you're at 1323.3. After that it then gradually drifts back down. It also drops about 10 km at CG 66.

Aside from that, and if you compensate for the gradual drift, your information seems to line up pretty well with ours.

Our survey was done using a whole lot of gee-whiz differential GPS stuff, with 2 stationary reference receivers and 2 receivers mounted on a car. Then it was all processed by a PhD student doing work in the area. There are 2 articles in Australian Surveyor from 1996 (don't know the exact issues) if you're interested. Apparently it was done to centimetre accuracy, but there's still a whole lot of glitches in the height data which I'm trying to correct manually - on 100,000 data points! The distances were derived from the GPS data.

Thanks for making the information available. It looks like a few grids have been removed since our survey was done in 1996, and a few more added.