On the Use of Reference Models in Automotive Aerodynamics 2004-01-1308
In automotive aerodynamics much use has been made of generic reference models for research and correlation. Research work has been conducted mostly on small-scale versions of the models to investigate flow regimes and aerodynamic force and moment characteristics while correlation tests have made use of full-scale models to compare results between wind tunnels. More recently reference geometries have also been used as test cases in the validation of computational techniques.
This paper reviews the design characteristics and use of several key reference models. The advantages and disadvantages of these designs and also the applicability of the results in providing guidelines for the development of production vehicles are discussed.
It is advocated that when researchers choose to use simple models, existing reference geometries should be employed. It is also suggested that families of reference shapes could be extended to reflect the widening range of sizes and shapes of vehicles in the market-place.