Assessment of a Vehicle's Transient Aerodynamic Response 2012-01-0449
A vehicle on the road encounters an unsteady flow due to turbulence in the natural wind, due to the unsteady wakes of other vehicles and as a result of traversing through the stationary wakes of roadside obstacles. There is increasing concern about potential differences between the steady flow conditions used for development and the transient conditions that occur on the road. This paper seeks to determine if measurements made under steady state conditions can be used to predict the aerodynamic behaviour of a vehicle on road in a gusty environment.
The project has included measurements in two full size wind tunnels, including using the Pininfarina TGS, steady-state and transient inlet simulations in Exa Powerflow, and a campaign of testing on-road and on-track. The particular focus of this paper is on steady wind tunnel measurements and on-road tests, representing the most established development environment and the environment experienced by the customer, respectively. Measurements of the surface pressure on the front sideglass were used for comparisons as this area exhibits a complex flow which is highly sensitive to yaw angle and which is also an important region, for wind noise considerations in particular.
It was found that, if the transient on-road environment is known then steady-state wind tunnel measurements can be used to predict accurately the transient surface pressures, provided the methodology is sufficiently rigorous. Admittance or transfer function techniques are commonly used to compare transient and steady-state results and the limitations of these methods are shown here when the spectra of self-excited and externally imposed unsteadiness overlap. A new method is introduced to obtain a “true” transfer or admittance function, unconfused by the presence of self-excited unsteadiness. The aerodynamic admittance was found to be close to unity up to a frequency of 2-10 Hz and it then drops progressively.