Developing a Track Simulation Tool for Formula Student Race Cars using Python 2019-01-1128
Formula Student is a competition held on yearly basis in multiple countries around the world. Students from different universities participate in this competition implementing some of the most sophisticated techniques in design and analysis of Formula Student car performance. In this research a track simulation tool is developed to analyze the effect of different systems on the car performance, and to test the performance of the car on the Autocross track. The car is modeled as point mass in straight roads and corners. Intensive studies were carried out leading to the conclusion that, in some cases, point mass modeling leads to some inaccuracy and in others it provides the solution. Therefore, to reach more accurate solutions, the point mass model was replaced with the four degrees of freedom, or “bicycle”, model counterpart, and the difference between both models results are discussed. The results also showed how an unrealistic tire model, which might be used for simulation simplicity, will lead to unrealistic results. The bias ratio selected for the brake system versus human force applied on the brake pedal was optimized and the optimization technique is discussed along with whether or not it should be track based. Car with and without wings performance were compared, and the effect of the aerodynamic kit on the car on straight roads, in corners and on its braking capability is also shown. Since a car with given specifications will have different performances on different tracks, the effect of different race lines on the car performance was briefly shown for a car going through a 90-degree turn.