Vehicle Attitude Changes from Aerodynamic Forces 2018-01-0711
A vehicle driving down the road naturally pitches, rolls and heaves due to road inputs (for example, bumps, potholes, driving dynamics, etc.) and also due to the influence of aerodynamic forces. The vehicle attitude changes directly as a result of aerodynamic forces that can be seen during wind tunnel testing of production level vehicles, with some measurements possible in order to evaluate the aerodynamics effects. This naturally occurring phenomenon is not always represented in aerodynamics simulations, either for reduced scale models or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations or even rigid body full scale testing. It can be shown through visual techniques how much deflection is typically occurring, including both vehicle attitude changes as well as vehicle body distortions. From the analysis, an adjustment to the CFD models can be made to compensate for the aerodynamics effects. This paper will demonstrate that changes to vehicle attitude through wind tunnel testing and photographic analysis are naturally occurring. Additionally, a methodology for ride height mapping is proposed.