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Race Car Aerodynamics MER331- Term Project. Purpose Characterize the aerodynamic performance of radio controlled vehicles Methods Surface Pressure Distribution Measurement Lift/Drag Force Measurements PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

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Race car aerodynamics mer331 term project l.jpg

Race Car AerodynamicsMER331- Term Project


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Purpose

  • Characterize the aerodynamic performance of radio controlled vehicles

    Methods

  • Surface Pressure Distribution Measurement

  • Lift/Drag Force Measurements

  • PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry)

  • CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)


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The Impact of Aerodynamics on Vehicle Shape

  • Compare two race cars

  • Both were designed for the Indy 500

Why are they so different?

  • Streamlining

  • Aerodynamic Down Force



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Lift - Dr. Jekyll

Down force (Negative Lift)

  • Down force increases a tires capability to produce cornering force

  • Down force stabilizes vehicles at high speed

  • Improves braking performance


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Drag - Mr. Hyde

  • Reduces top speed

  • Helps chasing cars to draft and catch up

  • Reduces effective power of engine


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Aerodynamic Down Force and Vehicle Performance

Source: Race Car Aerodynamics, J. Katz, 1995


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Radio Controlled Racing

  • Perfect size for the Union wind tunnel

  • Can outfit with many body styles

  • Fast enough that aerodynamics affect handling


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(a)

(c)

(e)

(b)

(d)

The Vehicles

(a) Ford Taurus NASCAR racer (c) baja Beetle

(b) 1969 Dodge Charger (General Lee) (d) a Mini Cooper

(e) Nissan P-35 LeMans Style prototype racer


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The Instrumentation

Two models required for each body type

  • PIV, Lift/Drag Test Model

  • Surface Pressure Model


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Tools

Wind Tunnel

Dynamometer

Particle Image Velocimetry


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The Experiments

  • Surface Pressure Measurements

  • Lift and Drag Tests

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics

  • Particle Image Velocimetry Tests

  • Final: Oral Presentations and Report


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Questions?

References:

  • Katz, J., Race Car Aerodynamics, Robert Bentley Publishing, 1995

  • Jeremy Losaw, ME Class of 2002

Funded by the National Science Foundation (CCLI-9950521)


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