Jessi Combs North American Eagle

Jessi Combs and Microsoft IoT Attempt to Set Women’s Land Speed Record

Jessi Combs recently rocketed across a dry lake bed in Oregon in an attempt to become the fastest woman on Earth. She reached a speed of 477.59 mph–a personal best and more than four times faster than I’ve ever driven–but ultimately fell short of the goal of breaking the current record of 512 mph. Thanks to Microsoft Azure and IoT technology, her team and fans around the world were able to monitor telemetry data in real-time.

What’s the fastest you’ve ever driven? This is just between us, so 90 miles per hour? 100? Whatever it is, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve never come anywhere close to 477.59 mph achieved by Jessi Combs in her recent attempt to become the fastest woman on Earth.

Think about that. 477.59 mph. That is almost 8 miles per minute. Combs traveled more than the length of two football fields in a second. While that speed is her own new personal best, she ultimately fell short of breaking the women’s land speed record of 512 mph.

The vehicle Combs used for the attempt is the North American Eagle. It’s not a car. It is literally a fighter jet with its wings clipped—a 1950’s F-104 Starfighter, to be precise—modified for this purpose. It can generate 42,500 horsepower. That’s more than 42 times the horsepower of the Bugatti Veyron—the fastest production car ever built.

Microsoft played a role in the effort as well. Built around Windows 10 IoT Core, the Pegasus Mission research scientists were able to develop a small cockpit sensor that sent telemetry data and received messages in real-time. The team created mobile apps with Xamarin, and a custom telemetry system that captured nearly 60,000 measurements per second and uploaded the data to Microsoft Azure for analysis using Cortana Intelligence.

“By taking these challenging situations and using different concepts in technology, we are able to do things that have never been done before,” explains Matt Long, a Microsoft software engineer who created the broadcast system with Mark Nichols, a cloud solution architect at Microsoft. “Customers can then use their own imaginations to come up with new things to compete with in the marketplace.”

A blog post from Microsoft about the event says, “Combs’ latest run brought the Eagle team one step closer to its ultimate goal of breaking the sound barrier and running the fastest car in history. Eagle owner Ed Shadle and his volunteer crew have been working to drive the Eagle at 800 miles per hour, ever since he and friend Keith Zanghi salvaged an old Lockheed fighter jet in 1998. The current “absolute” land speed record is 763 miles per hour, set by a British team in 1997.”

See the full story on Forbes: Microsoft Technology Helps Jessi Combs Strive To Be Fastest Woman On Earth.

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