University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences

SOLAR SPLASH® is the intercollegiate solar/electric boating World Championship, taking place over five days in Arkansas, USA. Five on-the-water competitive trials for speed, manoeuvrability and endurance, scrutinise the performance of a diverse range of entries. Typically, around twenty universities qualify for the championships and last year the University of Southampton put forward the first entry from a UK institution. Two academics and six students, collectively called Team Tarka, designed and built a custom solar powered boat for the event in just six weeks.

With such a tight timescale for the Tarka I development it was clear there would be stiff competition from well funded US universities with over 10 years of experience behind them. However, the team did the UK proud, coming home with a string of awards and a very credible 10th place overall. The lessons learnt were vital and plans quickly emerged for a new, faster, more efficient boat for the 2010 championships.

The new boat, Tarka II, is making rapid progress at the hands of an all new multi-disciplinary team. Four talented ship science team members have been developing the hull through rigorous simulation and tank testing. The hull will be constructed entirely from a carbon composite material for the ultimate in lightweight stiffness. Furthermore, the electronics team members have more than doubled the drive power to reduce sprint times.

Contact us:

Dr Peter R. Wilson
+44 (0)23 8059 4162

Dr Peter R. Wilson
Dept of Electronics & Computer Science,
University of Southampton,
SO17 1BJ,
United Kingdom