Use of a Narrow Belt for Moving Ground Simulation and its Effects on the Aerodynamic Forces Generated on a Formula-1 Car 2002-01-3342
In this project an attempt has been made to evaluate the use of a narrow-width moving ground facility for wind tunnel testing of racing cars. The investigation concerned boundary layer measurements above a full-width moving belt in order to identify its side-edge effects. Boundary layer measurements were also taken above a narrow belt, while suction was applied along its side-edges. After the boundary layer development was identified for both belt configurations, the effects of the reduced belt width on the aerodynamic forces generated on a 50% scale Formula-1 model were determined.
The side-edge effects investigation confirmed a strong interaction between the side-belt edges and the fixed ground, resulting in a boundary layer development above the belt with a significant size that becomes considerably larger towards its trailing edge. The retarded flow contained on it, affects the measured aerodynamic forces generated on the model and as the belt width decreases a bigger influence is expected. However, application of suction between the fixed and the moving ground is very efficient in removing this boundary layer, maximizing the measurement accuracy. Suction along the sides of the belt should be used, regardless of the width of the belt, to create a flat boundary layer above it. This edge suction is absolutely essential for a narrow belt to minimize errors and reduce the need for scaling corrections.