Once again the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. will host the SAE Snowmobile Challenge. This year’s event will be the biggest ever as a record 21 college and university teams have registered. The event takes place March 4-9, 2013.

Arctic Cat, BRP (Ski-Doo), Polaris, and Yamaha are gold level sponsors of the event. Staff from all four manufacturers will be involved, with many serving as judges and reviewers of the competition.

The intent of the competition is to design a snowmobile that will primarily be ridden on groomed snowmobile trails. The use of unreliable, expensive solutions is strongly discouraged! Modern snowmobiles are engineered to meet the current standards for noise and emissions. Teams are expected to add innovative solutions for improving on performance of the base sled that they start with. Design judges (written and oral) will be looking for innovations and incorporating that into their scores.

The minimum performance expectations for a trail snowmobile are set by the rules as a sled that by design will go 100 miles without refueling and can attain a trail speed of 45 miles per hour on a smooth trail.

Students will be trying to reduce friction and improve efficiency of the entire drive train.

SAE Snowmobile Challenge activities include: * An endurance run from Houghton, MI to Copper Harbor * Technical presentations regarding emissions and design presentations * A subjective handling event * An acceleration test * Scientific testing for emissions levels and sound