Track Simulation and Vehicle Characterization with 7 Post Testing 2002-01-3307
It is becoming a greater challenge to win a race as more and more technologies are put into use to enhance vehicle-handling characteristics. Vehicle handling during cornering and braking is one of the crucial performance characteristics that is continuously improved upon. To help the driver achieve the best handling performance on the track, suspensions are tuned to optimize for the specific track and racing conditions. Typically 4-post test rigs are used to test for the heave, pitch, roll and torsional frequencies of the suspensions. However three more actuators (aeroload actuators) become necessary to tune the suspensions at the correct ride height by including the aerodynamic effects. By means of a 7-post testing system an optimization procedure is executed to improve handling performance. An instrumented vehicle is driven on the track. The response of the vehicle is then replicated on a 7-post system using Iterative Control System (ICS) software. Having identified the problems from the measurements and driver comments, the suspensions are fine-tuned and a better vehicle response is achieved for the same track and driving conditions. In this paper, a case study is presented for a 7-post system and more advanced technologies to improve the testing performance are discussed in detail.