Application of Emergent Aerodynamic Calculation Tools 2008-01-0096
The cost of fuel and the desire for fuel efficiency continue to drive automobile manufacturers to invest in and to prioritize vehicle designs and performance. There has long been a fundamental understanding that aerodynamic efficiency (drag) has an effect on this phenomenon. The focus of this paper is to demonstrate how emergent aerodynamic performance calculation tools can be efficiently and effectively utilized for realizing improvements to vehicle performance, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and societal acceptance. These tools include Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis (CFD) which further includes visualization techniques, shape deformation, DOE, and optimization methods, among others. This paper describes an efficient method of leveraging the inherent strengths of these tools to develop a more complete understanding of the opportunities for improving the aerodynamic performance of a vehicle, as well as identifying potential concerns in degrading the aerodynamic efficiency.