Sunday, July 25, 2021
Home Regatta America's Cup The control systems on board of the Luna Rossa boat, AC75

The control systems on board of the Luna Rossa boat, AC75

Handling a boat like the AC75 requires the use of sophisticated management and control systems actioning a compact network of valves and pistons.

The AC75 is an extremely complex boat both from an engineering and a sailing point of view. The boat weighs about 7 tons and can reach 30 knots with just 12 knots of wind, without touching the water and balanced on a foil of a few square meters. An engineering gem, but also of a complex hydraulic and electronic system.

There are 4 main systems that rule the functioning of an AC75:
– the FCS (Foil Cant System) which manages the movement of the foil arms. This is a one-design component, i.e. the same for all teams, and is provided by the Defender
– the ILS (Instrumentation and Logging System) which manages the data provided by the onboard instrumentation (compasses, GPS, measurement sensors, etc.)
– the CIS (Crew Information System), which is the interface between the boat and the sailor
– the ECC (Electronic Control Circuits), which manages the boat’s hydraulic system.

The regulation states that these 4 systems must work independently and communicate with each other only through fixed “channels”, i.e. through the Media System provided by the Defender, which allows the various systems to exchange information according to pre-established protocols.
For example, the ECC can send information to the ILS, but cannot receive it from the ILS. This type of feedback loop is set to avoid having a boat using automated systems, such as autopilot or automated flap management.

In addition, the ECC and ILS can send information to the sailors through the Media System only, which adds one second of delay to the ILS data. This means that the information coming from the sensors installed in the boat appears on the sailors’ displays with a one-second delay. This setting helps to avoid using computers to sail the boat.The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75

The onboard systems and automation of the boat are completely hydraulic. Inside the hull there is a complex system of pistons connected to the ropes that control maneuvers, which may be the mainsail base, or the jib Cunningham. The movement of these pistons, driven by pumping oil into the system, allows for example to trim a sail. The oil, which flows through a hydraulic network and drives the pistons inside the hull, is pumped by the grinders through 4 pedestals. By operating the valves installed on board, the sailors decide on which pump to put oil, depending on the handling and maneuvering needs. For example, a jibe requires a complex combination of control switches that correspond to the closing and opening of specific valves. There are various computers on board and one of them is dedicated to manage the hydraulics, with a software that allows the sailors to operate the hydraulic valves that move the oil using control buttons.The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75

On every sailing day, before the boat leaves the shed, a complex system review called the “Mecca System Check” is carried out by the technicians. It is a very thorough control of all the functions for each station: all the keys on displays and controllers, and each individual button are checked to ensure proper functioning; the correct opening of the valves, and the correct calibration of the cylinder are also checked by measuring the excursion and the figures at the end of the stroke and on release.The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75

When the boat is stepped and in the water, another system check is carried out by the sailors on board. Each of them checks their own station and that all functions are calibrated: much like the sound check that musicians carry out before a concert.

These systems are monitored during navigation and racing. The technicians and engineers follow the AC75 from the chase boat and monitor the numbers they receive from the onboard systems on their computers, like in a Formula 1 pit wall. During the race phases, all the data coming in from the several sensors installed on board are kept under control, including the oil temperature and pressure, loads, performance. In the event of any anomalies in the systems, the shore team is ready to fix any problem between the races.
Within the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, the Mechatronics is a specific department fully dedicated to the study and development of these systems; it is made up of mechanical, hydraulic, electronic and software engineers. The entire department works on the creation and management of these highly complex systems that serve to operate the entire boat. Without these systems, it would be practically impossible to fly an AC75.

The control systems on board the “Luna Rossa” AC75
- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

LATEST ARTICLES

The new Azimut 68, Flybridge Collection: a yacht for the world

The newest model in the Flybridge Collection is the Azimut 68: a high-tech yacht with a selection of three different layouts on...

Heesen is delighted to announce the delivery of YN 19550 MY Ela

Heesen is delighted to announce the delivery of YN 19550 MY Ela, formerly known as Project Altea. This magnificent yacht set sail...

Ice Yachts presents the Ice 70, designed by Felci Yacht Design

Elegance in the style choices, harmonious both internally and externally, in which classic and modern style elements are based, thus emphasizing exclusivity and...

Royal Huisman’s launch of the 58.5m / 192ft motoryacht PHI

One of this year's highlights is the launch of the 58.5m / 192ft motoryacht PHI at Royal Huisman's newbuild facility in Vollenhove,...

ISA Super Sportivo 100ft GTO, naval engineering by Studio Arnaboldi

Born into the profession, Marco Arnaboldi inherited the passion for yacht design from his father Angelo, but also his love for speed....

ClubSwan One Designs will compete at the 39 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

ClubSwan is the prestigious marque for those one-design boats built by the prestigious Finnish shipyard Nautor's Swan. ClubSwan first joined the Copa...

The Italian Sea Group: delivery of the new EVO120 motor yacht

Tecnomar, brand by The Italian Sea Group, global operator in the luxury yachting industry, active in the construction and refit of motor...

Zeelander Yachts’ flagship Z72 will debut at Cannes Yachting Festival

Zeelander Yachts is going to Cannes Yachting Festival (September 7-12) with a strong presence as the renowned Dutch shipyard will display two...

Canyon di Caprera project: research activities on cetaceans continue

From the 20th to the 23rd of July, One Ocean Foundation will be in in Sardinia for the positioning of three acoustic...

Lürssen presents project 13800 at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show

Lürssen is delighted to reveal that they will be displaying the latest delivery from the yard at the Monaco Yacht Show this...