CradlePoint Helps World’s Fastest Jet Boat Keep Flying >200mph

The CradlePoint CTR500 Mobile Broadband Travel Router instantly creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that any Wi-Fi enabled device can connect to—laptop, camera, PDA, etc. The CTR500 then connects those devices to the Internet via 3G mobile broadband, providing high-speed web access virtually anywhere. In addition, it can also connect to the internet via a DSL or Cable broadband modem.

CradlePoint Router Helps World’s Fastest Jet Boat Keep Flying at Over 200mph

CTR500 Provides Pit Crew with Real-Time Telemetry on Dual Jet Engines to Maximize Performance and Ensure Safety

Situation:
The Aquamania/G3 racing team takes offshore racing to the extreme! Their 50-foot racing catamaran is the worlds most technologically advanced boat, powered by dual Lycoming helicopter jet turbine engines. The jet turbines generate more than 3,800 horsepower to propel the 6-ton boat at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour. For safety, the 4-man enclosed cockpit is Kevlar reinforced and features an onboard oxygen safety system.

Challenge:
The crew needed an advanced communications system that could provide real-time telemetry on the dual jet turbine engines. “When your crew is sitting between what are basically two 1,000 pound bombs—what with the jet engines and the associated jet fuel—it’s critical that you get real-time data from the engines,” says Mike Kelly, engineer for the Aquamania/G3 racing team. The team was also looking for a way to transmit live video/audio feeds from onboard cameras so that fans on shore and on the Web could see the live action during races.

Solution:
“Our IT guy, Bill, is into cool gadgets. He found the CTR500,” says Mike. “I think it may qualify as the world’s fastest offshore moving hot spot! It provides a communication path from the boat to the shore at over 200 mph!” The CTR500 transmits engine data and provides a network connection to the two on-board computers. In addition, it links the boat’s video camera web server system to shore so fans can see different onboard cameras—including views of what’s going on inside the cockpit—while the boat screams along at over 200 mph.

“The CTR500 is as good as it gets,” reports Mike. “The Aquamania/G3 racing team is a multi-million dollar operation. As the worlds most technologically advanced boat, we’re serious about having the best equipment possible. There is just a phenomenal amount of prep work that has to be done on shore before racing and we don’t buy equipment that you have to mess around with. We want stuff that works every time with the least amount of hassle.”

“The CTR500’s ability to deliver live video from the boat during a race is a huge plus,” reports Mike. “Talk about instant gratification! Fans onshore can see great shots from inside the cockpit on monitors we set up on shore, and the feed also goes right to our website. If fans can’t make it to the race, they can still follow us online.”

When the boat isn’t racing, the CTR500 provides an ideal way for the crew to remain connected to the internet. Whether it’s mechanics ordering parts, engineers searching technical articles, or team members exchanging emails about upcoming schedules and venues, the CTR500 keeps the team online and productive. “You just don’t find Internet jacks on the beach,” says Mike. “But we still need to be connected. For us to have to wait to get back to the hotel to send emails or look up something up on the Web is not an option.”

Benefits:

  • Value. “The CradlePoint gives us very good bang for the buck,” Mike notes. “A lot of the equipment on the boat is MIL spec [military grade]. To be able to buy commercial grade and have it perform the way the CTR500 does is great.”
  • Easy. “It’s pretty much plug and play,” says Mike. “Even a old transistor-board guy like me could get it set up.”
  • Reliable. “When you’re doing 210 mph on the open ocean with three or four foot waves, you take a pretty good slamming,” reports Mike. “Not a pounding...a slamming. But we haven’t had any problems with the CTR500. We’re still using the original unit we installed.”
  • Portable. “The team travels all over the country...all over the world, actually. It’s great not having to worry about Internet access. With the CTR500 and the team’s AT&T Broadband account, we’re pretty much always connected.”
  • Compact. “The small size was a big reason we chose the CTR500,” notes Mike. “Small size and small battery. It makes it easy to squeeze the CTR500 in with the pile of equipment we have under the deck. The CTR500 helped us eliminate a lot of wires that added extra weight to the boat.”

Mike sums up: “Having the CTR500’s hot spot is a tremendous advantage for everyone on the team: mechanics, boat crew, electronics guys, jet engine guys...it really helps us go out there and win a new record every weekend.”