Race Cut Lights Indicators and Central Components

Visual Indication

For portability and ease of communiation, the "heart" of AeroTracker is housed in a box of race cuts lights, with 4 sets of lights, one set for each lane.  The amber light indicates a single cut for the lane and the red light indicates a double-cut.

Note: Ther is an additional box with lights which is located at turn 1 which shows the cut status of the last plane to round the pole.



Auditory Indictation

In addition to sets of lights indicate cuts, the AeroTracker box also contains a voice module which speaks information.   For example, some of the warnings are:

  • Cut Lane 1
  • Doulble-Cut Lane 2
  • Winner Lane 3

Components In the Box

Not only does the race cut light box provide visual and audio information about a race, but it also serves the practical purpose of housing central AeroTracker components.  This box houses:

  • Wirelss router with 9dbi omni-directional antennas
  • AeroTracker Directory Server (tracks location of all devices and manages parallel processing)
  • Embedded computers (Raspberry PIs) for data processing (receive incoming data streams and process)
  • Audio/Voice synthesis hardware
  • Cut LED lights (Amber = 1 cut, Red = 2 cuts, for each lane)
  • Status LED Lights (Light in presense of a tag to show tracking is active for each lane)
  • Power regulators
  • Processor and cable port for Start/Finish sensor (Detects the tags on the line to confirm each lane tag is active.  Also, tracks crossing the start/finish line for each plane)


Build Process:

Layout of the core compoents (left to right):

  •  Directory Server Raspberry PI
  • 3V3 to 5 volt level shifter ( 2 x 2 channel)
  • 4 channel relay board for 5 volt green status lights
  • 3V3 to 5 volt level shifter (8 channel)
  • 8 channel relay board for 12 volt cut lights
  • 5 volt busbars 
  • 12 volt busbars
  • 12 Volt and 5 volt power regulators


Closeup of busbars:


Space for wireless router, antenna extensions through the top:

Space for 3 additional Raspberry PIs: