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Old 05-02-2011, 11:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The paddle wheel speed sensor is of interest for establishing the most efficient speed over water. This would give you the best speed to use when there is no current and is probably the most useful bit of information.

For calibrating the MPGuino speed you just need to play with the pulse per mile value until the MPGuino speed reading matches the boats speedometer.

GPS data would of course give speed made good and would be useful for determining how much to speed up or slow down for best efficiency in the presence of a current.

A boat lends it's self well for steady sate cruising so it would be easy to collect data to generate a performance curve that relates fuel consumption to speed. From there it should be straight forward to calculate the most efficient speed for different currents. I think it will be a variation on the calculations for determining the best speed to fly gliders in a head wind.

Having both speed over water and GPS speed will allow you to map out the currents in the river so you can try to travel in the weaker currents heading upstream and stronger currents heading downstream.

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