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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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)
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
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
Drag - Mr. Hyde • Reduces top speed • Helps chasing cars to draft and catch up • Reduces effective power of engine
Aerodynamic Down Force and Vehicle Performance Source: Race Car Aerodynamics, J. Katz, 1995
Radio Controlled Racing • Perfect size for the Union wind tunnel • Can outfit with many body styles • Fast enough that aerodynamics affect handling
(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
The Instrumentation Two models required for each body type • PIV, Lift/Drag Test Model • Surface Pressure Model
Tools Wind Tunnel Dynamometer Particle Image Velocimetry
The Experiments • Surface Pressure Measurements • Lift and Drag Tests • Computational Fluid Dynamics • Particle Image Velocimetry Tests • Final: Oral Presentations and Report
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)