Multibody System Simulation and Optimisation of the Driving Dynamics of a Formula SAE Race Car 2009-01-0454
The area of vehicle handling falls under the more general area of vehicle dynamics. Handling is used to describe the effectiveness of a vehicle to change direction and negotiate corners. Handling is also the driver’s perception of the vehicle’s cornering behaviour. From these descriptions it is evident that handling has both a subjective and objective aspect to it. This paper deals primarily with the objective understanding of handling.
Through the use of multibody dynamics software, the handling of a typical Formula SAE race car is computationally modelled and critical parameters are evaluated. The majority of these parameters are related to suspension geometry which is analysed using multibody kinematics software. The effects of these suspension parameters are discussed.
Through simulation of simple steady state and transient cornering, the vehicle’s response to altering the suspension parameters is examined. The vehicle is then optimised in IPG CarMaker™ using the Taguchi approach. The optimisation examines the vehicle performance around a computationally modelled Formula SAE race track. From this optimisation exercise, significant improvement in the vehicle’s performance is predicted through changes in certain key suspension parameters.